South Sudan child scrap metal diggers blown up in Juba

Stephen Gatwech who lost his leg after stepping on a mine in Unity State Explosives kill and maim people across South Sudan every year

Five children have been killed by an old mortar shell as they dug for scrap metal in South Sudan's capital, Juba.

The five were looking for metal in an old army barracks, a military spokesman told the BBC.

The BBC's James Copnall says unexploded ordnance and mines remain a big problem in South Sudan, following decades of civil war.

There are clear-up operations under way in several areas of South Sudan, but such explosions kill people every year.

The children, aged 10-14, were killed in a former barracks in Juba's Souk Sita district, army spokesman Col Philip Aguer said.

He said that a Ugandan man who was with them, presumably to buy the scrap metal, was wounded.

South Sudan gained independence in 2011 after a long conflict with the north but it remains one of the world's least developed countries.

In addition to the explosives left over from the war, rebels have been accused of laying new mines, particularly in Unity state near the border with Sudan, our correspondent reports.

This has at times made travel around the area dangerous, he adds.

More on This Story

Sudan: Coping with divorce

More Africa stories


Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.