Defence forces member dies after fireams injury

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An active-service member of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) died after sustaining a firearms injury at the forces’ central training ground on Wednesday, military spokespersons have announced.

The active-service member sustained life-threatening injuries in the course of a firearms-related incident on Wednesday afternoon, the EDF says.

The service member was given first aid on the scene and taken to North Estonia Medical Centre, but died in hospital, EDF press chief Maj. Arvo Jõesalu said, as reported in daily Postimees.

A criminal investigation based on the article of the Penal Code related negligent homicide has been opened by the police.

The EDF has offered its condolences to the deceased’s next of kin and has urged that their privacy be respected.

Separate, non-fatal incident already under investigation

A previous violent incident involving the EDF’s Viru Infantry Battalion of the Estonian is being investigated.

The EDF says five conscripted soldiers had entered an EDF soldier’s quarters over the weekend of 9-11 February, in breach of curfew, and assaulted him. The victim reportedly did not require hospitalisation.

The EDF says the five conscripts had prior to the assault incident ignored orders from a superior to partake in cleaning and maintenance duties and directed profanities at an officer’s aide.

The commanding officer of the Viru Battalion reported the incident to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA). If found guilty those reported may face both a 21-day disciplinary detention and a one-year imprisonment, it is reported.

Since the investigation is ongoing the EDF is unable to provide further comment, it says.

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