Freetown – Two children died in a grenade explosion after they found the device, a remnant of the country’s civil war, while searching for scrap metal in northern Sierra Leone, police said on Tuesday.
A police statement said 13-year-old Ibrahim Kamara and 15-year-old Lamin Kargbo were among eight youths searching for scrap metal in Port Loko.
“The grenade exploded when the group tried to open the object into parts killing Kamara and Kargbo on the spot and seriously injuring the other six youngsters,” said police superintendent Francis Bundor.
Scrap metal trading can be a lucrative business in Sierra Leone and children often skip school to search for items that can be sold to supplement household income.
Sierra Leone was home to one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars between 1991-2002 in which up to 200 000 people were killed, and many raped or maimed.