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Deadly explosion rocks Czech military base used to train Ukrainians

An unspecified ammunition blast left one dead and eight injured on Monday, according to army officials

One soldier has been killed and eight others injured after an explosion at the Libava military training area in the Czech Republic, the country’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday. The base serves as a training camp for Ukrainian troops.

According to preliminary data, the blast involved unspecified munitions at the training facility, military officials said, without providing further details.

“We are dealing with a serious accident in the Libava military training area, where unspecified ammunition exploded, the Defense Ministry wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “We are trying to provide help as quickly as possible with a rescue helicopter involved.”

A spokeswoman for the ambulance service in the Olomouc region, Lucie Mikiskova, told reporters that emergency services were working at the scene.

“Given that this is a military area, I cannot give more detailed information,” she said.

“I can only confirm that we are responding to this incident, we have two crews from Olomouc there and the air ambulance service from another region is also helping,” she added.

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Four soldiers with moderate injuries have been transported by helicopter and ambulance to the University Hospital in the nearby city of Olomouc, some 200km east of the capital Prague, local media reported, citing a hospital spokesman.

Another four servicemen have been taken to the hospital and one soldier was treated at the scene, according to him. Military police spokeswoman Katerina Mlynkova told reporters that the injured soldiers “were not foreigners.”

According to information from the website of the Libava Military District, an exercise was scheduled to take place at the facility on Monday and traffic on nearby roads had been restricted.

The Libava base has served as a training camp for Ukrainian troops since 2022, according to Czech defense officials. According to media reports, the Czech Republic has been providing the soldiers with food, accommodation, ammunition and weapons at Libava.

Czech instructors at the site have reportedly been teaching Ukrainians how to attack, communicate, and handle weapons.

Earlier this month, Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said that 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been trained in the Czech Republic last year and the same number of troops had been approved for this year.

June 17, 2024 at 08:19PM

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