At least three people were killed and four seriously injured when their vehicle hit a landmine on Wednesday in the town of Burao, some 350 km east of Hargeysa, the capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, witnesses said.
The vehicle was in a convoy of more than 50 others carrying mourners to a funeral. It hit the landmine when the driver veered off the road to overtake other cars.
"The driver was in the middle of more than 50 vehicles and diverted to the roadside to avoid the traffic jam. Suddenly we heard a big explosion and all the vehicles stopped," Abdisalam Mohamed, a witness traveling in one of the cars told IRIN.
After the blast, he added, most of the panic-stricken mourners disembarked from their vehicles and decided to walk to the cemetery, some 500 metres away.
Ahmed Ali, programme manager for the Somaliland Mine Action Centre (SMAC), said he was waiting for a report from a team sent to Burao to investigate the incident.
Medical sources in Burao said two of the four people injured in the blast were in serious condition.
Mohamed Ahmed, mayor of Burao, said most of the landmines in the area are believed to have been planted during Somalia's civil war of the 1980s. The mines have remained a major problem despite efforts by humanitarian agencies to clear them.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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