Bosnian Pokémon Go players warned not to stray into minefields

20 Jul 2016

If you thought playing Pokémon Go was dangerous enough with people walking in front of traffic, spare a thought for the Bosnian players who are being warned of straying into minefields.

Pokémon Go is finally beginning its rollout across the world, with plenty of video clips and images showing crowds of people running around as they hunt for augmented reality (AR) Pokémon.

Future Human

However, players in the Balkan state of Bosnia have something altogether different to be aware of when roaming the countryside to ‘catch ’em all’.

Posting on its Facebook page, the charity organisation Posavina bez mina – which wants to remove landmines from the previously war-torn state – warned that it had heard reports of players wandering into potentially lethal, mined regions.

“We received information that some users of the Pokémon Go app in Bosnia were going to places which are a risk for mines in search of a Pokémon,” the post said.

“Citizens are urged not to do so, to respect demarcation signs of dangerous mine fields and not to go into unknown areas,” it added.

A surprisingly hazardous game

According to the BBC, there are almost 120,000 land mines still undiscovered in the country following the last Balkan war during the 1990s.

Since the war ended in 1995, 600 people have been killed by undiscovered landmines, with thousands of locations in the country still not properly investigated.

While the majority of people appear to be playing Pokémon Go safely – albeit strangely, to any passerby – a number of incidents have now been reported online of careless pedestrians walking out in front of traffic, and even one of a person crashing their car into a police car.

Bosnian minefield warning sign image via Fotokon/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic