3 April 2017

Gambia: Landmine Kills Father, Two Sons in Wassadou

A father and his two sons on Thursday morning around 8pm, met their untimely death when a horse cart that they were riding on along the feeder road, at Fass village, stumbled over a landmine, which exploded on them.

The horse was seriously wounded in his left back leg, while the horse cart was completely destroyed.

The deceased Jonkong Sanneh, father, 57, Sheikh Omar Sanneh, 15, and a former student of Wassadou Dara Institute and Yahya Sanneh, 11, former Grade-3 student of Wassadou Lower Basic School were natives of Wassadou village, in Foni Jarrol District of West Coast Region (WCR).

The landmine was buried along the Fass village feeder road that leads to the southern Senegalese Region of Casamance.

Our reporter, over the weekend visited the scene accompanied by the deceased's family members led by the late Jonkong Sanneh's brother, Essa Sanneh.

Narrating the incident, Essa said on Thursday morning around 8am, that he heard a noise but he thought it was a truck tyre that burst. He revealed that the victims spent 9 hours lying dead in the bush and nobody was aware of the incident. He added that it was one Jonkong Badjie, from Kanfunda in Casamance who came with his motorbike to inform them about the incident around 5pm.

As we arrived at the scene with Jonkong Badjie, he went on; they found the body of the three scattered in the bush and in seeing this; "we could not hold our tears anymore because of the sorrowful nature of the incident".

Asked whether they knew who buried the landmines along the site, Essa said he couldn't ascertain that, but he was sure that his late brother and his children were not the target.

According to him, his late brother was on his way to fetch firewood for the family and unfortunately for him and his boys, met their untimely death. He said the distance of the scene was 4km to Trans-Gambia Highway and 319 metres to Casamance border.

Social Media reports

"We know our brother and his children were not the target for the mines, it was just that whatever Allah the Almighty decided is final and this was how they should depart this world," said Karamo Sanneh and Tumani Sanneh.

Karamo and Tumani categorically denied social media reports that it was a well-calculated plan to kill Jonkong Sanneh because of his loyalty to the UDP party.

"We are seriously urging people to desist from spreading wrong information about the death of our brother and his children. If anyone wants to know the facts, just come to us just like the way The Daily Observer's reporter did rather than fabricating wrong information on your own," they urged.

Other sources disclosed that the mines that killed Jonkong Sanneh and his children were meant to destroy logging trucks and not for human beings.

The late Jonkong Sanneh was survived by one wife and six children and the bodies of all the victims were laid to rest at Wassadou cemetery on Friday.

The Daily Observer contacted the Public Relations Office of The Gambia Police Force, Foday Conta and he confirmed the incident.

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