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Anxiety as World War 1 shells found in Kwale pit latrine

By Weldon Kipkemoi | September 30th 2020 at 04:11:00 GMT +0300

Two men have dug up two rusty artillery shells believed to have been fired by British or Germany forces during World War 1 from under a pit in Lungalunga in Kwale.

Weapons experts have been deployed to Dzombo village on Kenya's border with Tanzania to investigate Tuesday's discovery and prevent any accidents.

British and Germany forces fought pitched battles in the area during WW1. Germans lost the war and lost their colony in Tanganyika. Now, there is fear that many more such weapons from the same era lie hidden within this former war theatre.

Some experts suspect the ordnance was German made but officials have not confirmed this. It is suspected that the shells were left by slain or fleeing Germans in a trench and they were later covered by earth.

Residents and police reported that two men struck the two shells while digging a pit latrine in a family compound.

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Area Police boss Peter Dzimbi confirmed the discovery and said experts have been deployed following a distress call by residents.

 "We have contacted a forensic team and bomb experts from Mombasa so that they can handle and detonate the devices, we have also launched further investigations on the same," said the police chief.

Security sources told The Standard that the type of shells discovered on Tuesday are normal loaded in long range artillery batteries.

Another source said that the two shells are of between 100mm-120mm calibre and capable of massive destruction and fragmentation on impact.

According to the police boss, one of the explosives weighs approximately 100 kilograms.

 Dzimbi said a caller alerted the police when the owner of the homestead in Dzombo discovered the unusual objects.

Dzimbi added that the area was secured with sand-filled gunny bags as local police awaited explosive disposal experts.

He further noted that a team of experts has also been deployed to search Dzombo vilage for any other hidden ordnance.

 "We have contacted a forensic team and bomb experts from Mombasa so that they can handle and detonate the devices. We have also launched further investigations on the same," he said.

This is not the first time such devices have been recovered in the area. There was a similar discovery last year.

Artillery Shells World War 1
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