Zambian troops are clearing landmines along the Zambesi River border with Rhodesia, following a series of explosions in the area.
Zambian troops are clearing landmines along the Zambesi River border with Rhodesia, following a series of explosions in the area. A 14-year-old African girl was killed in the blasts and a number of soldiers were wounded.
This week, Zambian Government officials took newsmen on a tour of the area. They were shown the spot where Jennifer Chilimazani was killed by an anti-personnel mine as she returned to Chiawa village, about 100 miles south-east of the capital, Lusaka.
A Zambian Army spokesman said that a number of landmines had been found and destroyed by troops on clearing operations. The mines were buried in a dirt road which connects Feire, on the Mozambique border, with the Zambia-Rhodesia border post of Chirundu.
The Zambian Army says it is unable to determine if the landmines were laid by infiltrators from Rhodesia, or by Zambians. The press party was also taken to see injured soldiers at Lusaka University Teaching Hospital. Zambia's Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, Mr. Sikota Wina, also visited the hospital.
SYNOPSIS: The Zambian village of Chiawa, along the Zambesi River border with Rhodesia... It was here recently that a landmine explosion killed a local girl.
Pressmen were taken on a tour of the area on Tuesday by government officials. A number of Zambian soldiers were injured by another landmine which blew up a troop carrier. Soldiers on clearing operations have destroyed other landmines which they found buried in a dirt road near the Zambesi River.
Troops using landmine detectors went ahead of the press party in case any mines had been missed in earlier searches.
It was on this sport that fourteen-year-old Jennifer Chilimazani was killed when she stepped on a landmine as she returned with water from the Zambesi River.
Journalists accompanied the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, Mr. Sikota Wina, when he visited Zambian soldiers in a Lusaka Hospital. The soldiers had been injured in recent landmine blasts. One man had a fractured spine. Others had broken limbs and crushed feet. The Zambian Army says it is impossible to tell whether the mines were laid by infiltrators or by Zambians. However, one local villager has been charged with treason, following the explosions. Some villagers in the area told journalists that they were so soared of landmines that they had stopped working in their fields.