Mistake during military show injures 16 in France

June 30th, 2008 - 7:26 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 30 (DPA) Sixteen people were injured when a soldier fired live ammunition instead of blanks during a demonstration of military techniques for use in hostage situations in France, the defence ministry said late Sunday. The wounded included one soldier and 15 civilians in Paris in the incident at a military barracks in Carcassonne, France. Eleven of the injured had serious wounds, including a 3-year-old child and a second person in critical condition, local officials said.

The wounded civilians were all relatives of the soldiers stationed at the barracks, where marine infantry paratroopers were demonstrating combat techniques. Several earlier demonstrations had gone off without incident on a day when the military facility was open to the public.

The paratrooper who fired the live ammunition was detained and his equipment and weapons were seized for the ongoing investigation. There was no immediate explanation of how the shooting occurred, but initial accounts from authorities suggested an accident rather than foul play.

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