Hand grenade turns up in soil along country’s northern border

The northern zone continues to yield war materiel.  In the community of Pavón in the canton of Los Chiles the item that police confronted Monday afternoon was a hand grenade.

Officers are not sure if the grenade is a leftover from the Nicaraguan civil war or if it had been dropped more recently.

Police said they were alerted by an agricultural worker who saw the grenade half buried in the soil. The location was near the border with Nicaragua.

After years of effort, that area was declared free of land mines in 2002. Costa Ricans cleared the area under a program run by the Organization of American States. That program includes other Central American countries that were involved in the 15-year Nicaragua war.

Police identified the hand grenade as an M-67 variety, one of the newer models that post-dates World War II.  It did not appear to have any of the colors that would designate it as a practice grenade.

The expert officer who defused the device was not named. He simply detached the lever device that ignites a four- to five-second fuse within the cavity of the grenade.

The level is the part that can be seen flying off a grenade when it is thrown in a movie scene.

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