BOGOTA – Two children died and their father was seriously wounded after stepping on a landmine on a country road in the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, the military said.
A communique from the army’s ANNE news agency said that the explosion occurred near the hamlet of Toledo at a time when the youngsters – ages 11 and 15 – and their dad were going for a walk.
Army sappers rushed to the scene and began checking the area in order to clear away other explosives believed to have been planted there by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the country’s largest insurgency.
The army said that it will file new accusations against the FARC for these incidents because they violate human rights and international humanitarian law.
At the beginning of this month, Colombia commemorated the 9,133 victims of anti-personnel mines since 1990, of whom some 7,000 have survived though most of them were left mutilated or blind.
The Andean nation is second only to Afghanistan in the number of landmine casualties.
The director of the Colombian presidential program for Comprehensive Action against Anti-personnel Mines, Daniel Avila, said that about 10 percent of the victims have been children.
Sixty-five percent of landmine victims were members of security forces, according to the Colombian government. EFE