In Senegal’s Casamance region, two people were killed in an explosion after driving over a landmine.
The pair, a woman and a child, were in a cart traveling between two villages when they hit the landmine.
The landmine is believed to have been planted by separatists who have been fighting doggedly for independence south of The Gambia since 1982. Thousands have been killed and thousands more displaced in the war involving the Casamance Movement for Democratic Forces.
A villager who witnessed the incident told AFP:
“A mine exploded when a cart drove over it. A woman was killed on the spot. A child had his feet blown off and was taken to hospital, where he died.”
Senegal’s National Centre for Anti-mine Action states that over 600 people have been injured, and almost 200 killed by landmines between 1988 and 2011.
The landmine explosion that killed the woman and child happened on a widely used road between Diokatou and Kassal.
According to BBC News, the landmine explosion incident comes a little over a week after an attack on a bank in the town of Kafountine by suspected MDFC members who killed at least two people. Senegalese troops responding to the attack then killed two of the rebels thought involved, according to army reports.
Last October, the Senegalese government began new peace negotiations with rebel representatives in Rome.
Two months later, the MDFC freed eight hostages it had been holding for a year, and raised hopes that the war was nearing a peaceful end.
Do you think Senegal can reach a peace negotiation before more innocent people die from landmine explosions?
— Jamelidikazi Sidimba (@LoyisoSidimba) February 9, 2013