A landmine exploded and killed three a father and his two sons in the town of Wassadu, in southern Gambia’s Foni region, on a side road some few hundred meters from the country’s border with Senegal’s Casamance region.
Among the dead are two brothers, Sheikh Omar Sanneh, 11 and Yahya Sanneh, 8 with their father, Sulayman Sanneh who were on a donkey cart returning from gathering firewood from a nearby forest.
The people in the village are accusing unknown assailants who want to spark a civil war in the West African country. Senegal’s Casamance region has been plagued with a low-level crisis for 30 years.
Separatist fighters there are seeking independence from the north, whom they accuse of ignoring the plight of Southerners.
“Whoever did this has the intention of killing Gambians because there is no war here. How can anyone plant a bomb on a road that people use daily,” angry villagers said.
Fatu Network reported that Sanneh and his family are supporters of the unity government that ousted former President Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh has his stronghold in the Foni region. He won all the districts there. His refusal to cede power sparked a political crisis that had more than 150,000 people internally displaced and more than 75,000 people fleeing to northern Senegal.
Gambia’s military had destroyed its last stockpile of landmines, including of Anti-Personal Mines and RPG7s last month.
Authorities have increased police presence along the border last month to assure villagers in border settlements that there will be no renewed fighting between rebels and Senegalese military.