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As Pakistan-India tensions flare, a child mistakes a bomb for a toy

0 month ago, 11-Aug-2019

A relative displays the picture of Ali, who, according to his family, was killed after he found a device that looked like a toy and exploded in his hands at home in the village of Jabri. Reuters photo

JABRI, Pakistan: Deep in the mountains of the Neelum Valley, where a river separates Indian and Pakistani Kashmir, is the small village of Jabri, usually far enough away to avoid being hit by exchanges of fire between the countries armies.

That changed late last month when Indian artillery shells hit the village and an unexploded device found its way into the hands of four-year-old Ayan Ali.

He found a bomb that looked like a toy and he brought it here, said Alis uncle, Abdul Qayyum, pointing to their home.

Ali showed the toy to his siblings as the family sat down to breakfast. It exploded, killing Ali and wounding eight of his siblings, his mother and a young cousin.

They tried to snatch it from him and then it exploded. He died on the spot, Qayyum said, adding that two of the children are in hospital in critical condition.

Pakistans military said the device was a cluster bomb, a weapon that releases many smaller bomblets that can kill or wound people over a wider area. They are prohibited under the Geneva Convention governing international warfare.

The Indian government and army denied the allegation, and two army officials told Reuters that its shelling across the border was proportionate and in response to Pakistani fire.

On a visit to the Jabri area on Friday, a Reuters journalist was unable to independently verify the type of device that killed Ali, though there were signs of damage in the home.

A small crater in the concrete floor marked the place where Ali was standing when the device exploded.

The little kids were playing and then there was a loud sound. There was smoke everywhere, I couldnt see anything, said Sadaf Siddiq, Alis older sister.

A shell hit another nearby home, opening a large hole in the roof but nobody inside was injured, said its 37-year-old owner Muhammad Hanif. Reuters

As Pakistan-India tensions flare, a child mistakes a bomb for a toy Borneo Post Online.




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