A 15-year-old pupil is nursing serious injuries at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital after he was hit by a suspected grenade that shattered his right hand.
The victim, who was identified as Benjamin Ariho, is a primary six pupil at Kyanamira Primary School and a resident of Nyakatare village in Kyanamira sub-county, Kabale District.
The incident occurred on Saturday at around 5:30 pm at Rwamugimba village, Kyanamira parish, Kyanamira sub-county.
Ariho said that he had gone to collect water at a nearby tap where he met his classmate Saliva Niwasiima and other children who were grazing goats.
They started playing and Niwasiima picked up an object which he tried to open in vain.
Ariho said that Niwasiima gave it to him to help open it by pulling at a small string that was attached to the object, and that’s when the explosion happened.
“When I pulled the string, it burst so loudly. It was too hot and some particles hit my lips as my colleagues were running away,” said Ariho.
Ariho’s mother Provia Niwagaba, said she was home when she heard a loud bang followed by white smoke.
“I was shocked when I realised that the blast shattered my son’s hand. The fragments from the object also caused minor injuries to his face and thighs,” she said.
Niwagaba expressed concern that Ariho’s hand will most likely be amputated because the damage was extensive and some of the fingers were completely destroyed.
“We cannot understand how such an object came to our village and we are still in shock because we have never experienced war here,” she added.
Elly Maate, the Police spokesperson for Kigezi Region, said Police has recovered fragments from the device for analysis to determine whether it was a grenade or a tear gas canister.
Maate, however, said it is the responsibility of the parents to always advise their children not to pick random objects so as to avoid such incidents.
“We regret that this young boy was hit by this object, however, parents need to always advise their children not to play with whatever object they encounter,” said Maate.