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Four dead, two injured in grenade explosion

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
October 07, 2023

Four people died and two others suffered critical injuries last week when an explosive device, thought to be a grenade, detonated while being handled by a group of off-duty military personnel in Luang Prabang province.

The tragic incident occurred at around 7pm on the grounds of the Military School in Nambak district, during a social gathering at the home of a sports instructor. A group of friends and relatives had gathered at the house of the sports instructor, named only as Sonephet.

He removed the safety lock on the device to show it to his friends but didn’t replace it quickly enough and it exploded. Three people died instantly when the grenade exploded and one died later in hospital, while two others were seriously injured.

The victims were identified as three military personnel, a policeman, and their relatives. Last week, a suspected drug dealer killed himself in Xayaboury province by detonating an explosive device, and also took the lives of two police officers who had apprehended him.

Police said officers apprehended the suspect around 6am on September 12 and, finding himself surrounded, he set off what may have been a grenade, killing himself and the two policemen.

Xayaboury police are conducting enquiries into the tragic event and attempting to track down the suspect’s associates. Two other men believed to be part of the drug ring were detained immediately following the incident.

Last year, a similar incident occurred in Luang Prabang province when a suspected drug dealer killed himself by detonating an explosive device, and also took the lives of three police officers who had apprehended him. The explosion also injured four other policemen at the scene.

The incident took place in Viengkham district, Luang Prabang province. A nurse at the district hospital said two of the victims suffered serious head injuries and lost their hands in the blast.


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