BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (Reuters) - A hand grenade being used instead of a ball in a game of catch exploded early on Saturday killing three youths in this Bosnian town, police and news agencies said.
Two youths aged 19 and 20, one of them from neighboring Croatia, were killed instantly while a 20-year-old woman died on her way to hospital, police said. Her sister was slightly injured but two other youths suffered serious injuries.
The blast occurred at 2:00 a.m. in the western town of Novi Grad at a place in the town center frequented by youngsters. Police said an inquiry was under way and declined further comment. It was not clear why the grenade exploded.
ONASA news agency quoted witnesses as saying the youths tossed the hand grenade to each other before it exploded in the hands of one of them.
Bosnia is awash with illegal weapons left over from the 1992-95 war and tragic incidents are frequent despite several successful campaigns by international peacekeepers and police to get people to hand over illegal weapons.