IDF exercise halted after artillery shell strays

Gantz, who was at the live-fire exercise, allows exercise to continue without artillery, orders Ground Forces investigation.

November 30, 2011 09:26
Mobile IDF artillery unit fires a shell [file]

Mobile IDF artillery unit fires a shell 311 (R). (photo credit: Jerry Lampen / Reuters)

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz suspended a live fire exercise in the South Wednesday morning after two artillery shells accidentally diverted from their planned target, endangering the lives of soldiers who were training there. No injuries were reported.

Gantz had arrived at the reservist brigade-level exercise along with OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi and OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman.

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After the two shells diverted and landed several hundred meters from several senior officers, outside of the safety zone, Gantz decided to stop the exercise. It was renewed after an initial investigation in the field, but without artillery.

Gantz ordered Turgeman to appoint an official commission of inquiry inside the Ground Forces Command to investigate the incident.

In general, training accidents within the IDF have dropped in recent years.

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