Twelve Russian marines have been killed in an explosion after lighting a fire next to an ammo dump, according to reports.
Russian news outlet 161.ru said the incident, which occurred at a training ground in the Rostov region on 3 Nov., had been confirmed to them by multiple law enforcement sources and an investigation was underway.
“About 20 people from [the Marine brigade] lit a fire during their lunch break next to the ammunition blocks,” a source told the publication.
“The RPG-7 grenade launcher shell rolled into the fire and exploded.”
One source said 12 marines have been killed while another said eight had died and eight more had been injured.
The preliminary cause of the deaths is “non-compliance with safety regulations.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense has not commented.
It’s not the first time Russian soldiers have been killed en-masse by their own hands, though previous notable incidents occurred in the fog of war rather than at lunchtime at a training ground.
At least 60 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded by friendly fire as they made a hasty retreat from the village of Opytne, close to Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in eastern Ukraine in Sept.
Sources said that Russian fighters had been “retreating to new positions chaotically and almost in a panic.”
They said that other Russian forces had mistaken their troops for Ukrainians attempting to recapture territory near the airport.
The hurried exit resulted in the troops coming under fire from their own artillery.
“The result was 27 dead and 34 wounded. Approximately half of the wounded had their arms or legs blown off and several pieces of equipment were lost,” they said.
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