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Bosnian boy killed by wartime landmine


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian boy killed by wartime landmine

In Bosnia, they have buried a six year old boy, a 21st century victim of a war that ended 17 years ago.

Tarik Bijelic was killed by an anti-personnel mine while he was out collecting firewood with his father, who is now being treated in hospital in Sarajevo for serious shrapnel wounds.

The family said the man would often risk entering the minefield because he had no job, and could not afford to provide for his family.

The mother of the dead boy, Rukija Bijelic told how she heard a loud explosion, and that eventually she saw her husband, a former Bosnian soldier, carrying the boy in his arms. She said neighbours took them to hospital, but the youngster was already dead.

The Bosnian war from 1992 and 1995 made it one of the world’s most mine-infested countries, but clearance is proving costly and slow.

Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre reckons nearly 1,700 people have been injured or killed by unexploded war ordnance, among them 230 children.

Just metres from Tarik’s grave a sign warning of the dangers stood as a reminder of the mine that killed him, planted many years before he was even born.

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