Pakistan: 2 children killed while playing with a hand grenade

Hand grenade

Two children died and three others were grievously injured after a hand grenade they found on Wednesday and brought home exploded, the Pakistani police said.

The incident pertains to the northwestern city of Peshawar where children found a live grenade in an open area and took it along with them to their home. The three severely wounded children are said to be in critical condition in a hospital.

The police took cognisance of the incident and launched an investigation into the matter.

Past incidents in Pakistan when children lost their lives after playing with explosives discarded in trash

Explosives and arms are scattered across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. About four years back, in May 2017, a girl and her mother were killed when children accidentally pulled the pin of a grenade in Upper Dir. The children had found the live grenade on the street and brought it home believing that it was a toy. In another such incident from September 2020, five siblings were injured when playing with what they thought was a toy junked in a scrap heap.

Children come across the bombs while playing in rubbish heaps. The explosives are also found along the banks of the rivers after presumably being washed down in the rains from areas where there was fighting. IEDs are also hidden in water-coolers and tennis balls. In June 2017, six children from South Waziristan, who stumbled across such IED explosives, lost their lives while playing with it.

Peshwar, a breeding ground for terrorists

While all of Pakistan has been a breeding ground for all kinds of assorted terrorists, Peshawar holds special significance by the virtue of its proximity with Afghanistan border. Peshawar is the capital of the restive province of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan. For a long time now, terrorists have a strong presence in the region and it has acted as a gateway for the terrorists on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border for smooth infiltration.

However, Peshawar has also endured devastating terror attacks. About six years back, Peshawar witnessed one of the worst terror attacks in the history of Pakistan. On 16 December 2014, six gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School. The terrorists entered the school and opened fire on school staff and children, killing 149 people including 132 schoolchildren ranging between eight and eighteen years of age.

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