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4 more explosives found in Ngong

NAIROBI, Kenya May 9 – Four more explosives were found in Ngong during a massive search by the military following Sunday\’s tragedy that killed five children who were playing with a similar device.

Four of the children died on the spot and the fifth succumbed to injuries at the Kenyatta National Hospital on Monday afternoon, medics said. The children were aged between six and 12 years.

Doctors at the hospital said the boy who sustained severe injuries on his legs and hand lost a lot of blood before he was taken to hospital.

The children were playing with the rusty anti personnel bomb which exploded, killing the four instantly and seriously injured the fifth at a grazing ground in Ole Maroroi village, in Ewaso Kedong, a few kilometres from Ngong town in the outskirts of the capital Nairobi.

The incident occurred four kilometres away from a military training ground which is also used as a shooting range for other security agencies.
On Monday, Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri said a team had been dispatched to the area to carry out a massive search following reports that there were more similar devices abandoned in the area.

"We used to train in this area in the 1970\’s with this kind of mortar bombs and we moved to other designated areas.  A thorough search was carried out at the time to get rid of any remnants of the bombs and other explosives but we have learnt that there are some which might have been left behind due to the rugged terrains," he said.

He added:  "This (Monday) afternoon, we have received information from locals that there are four more similar bombs and a team has been sent to secure them and any other which may be there."

Mr Ongeri said the bombs were found in shrubs while others were hidden by locals in toilets and underground to ensure children do not get into contact with them.

"We are working very closely with the locals and they are very cooperative because they are assisting us a lot.  There are those who have been finding them and hiding them away from children, we are going to take away all those explosives," he said and urged residents to report to the police about any future discoveries.

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He said the military was no longer using the mortar bombs.

"The use of these mortar bombs was discontinued in the 70\’s. We no longer use them," he said and warned that although the devices may appear rusty, they are very dangerous.

He said an intensive sensitisation programme would be undertaken to enlighten the residents of the need to be cautious whenever they discover strange objects.

"We will educate them and even educate them on how these things look like so that when they find them they are able to know and take the necessary action," he said.

Mr Ongeri was non committal when asked if families of the children killed will be compensated by the Department of Defence.

"Those are decisions which will be made at a later stage, not now," he said.

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