IDF soldiers accidentally open fire on nearby troops during exercise
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IDF soldiers accidentally open fire on nearby troops during exercise

Maglan force deployed to border last week unwittingly entered live-fire zone of nearby exercise; none hurt

Soldiers from the Maglan reconnaissance unit take part in a training exercise in Cyprus in October 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
Soldiers from the Maglan reconnaissance unit take part in a training exercise in Cyprus in October 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

A friendly fire incident during an army training exercise last week in the north could have resulted in injury or death for a squad of elite soldiers, the IDF said.

No soldiers were hurt in the incident.

The pre-scheduled exercise included live fire with mortars and artillery shells along the northern border, according to a report Monday on Channel 12.

While the exercise was underway, soldiers from the Maglan commando unit were mobilized to the border fence for an unspecified reason.

A failure of communications between the forces taking part in the exercise and those operating on the border meant that the Maglan forces were sent into the live-fire zone slated for the exercise.

Illustrative. Israeli artillery on the Lebanese border, January 28, 2015. (IDF Spokesperson)

The training forces then opened fire on the site, firing multiple mortar shells that detonated near the Maglan troops.

The soldiers took cover and reported that they were under fire. Only then, according to the army, did the regional headquarters understand the error.

The exercise was stopped.

Northern Command chief Maj. Gen. Amir Baram ordered a top-level investigation into the incident, with initial findings calling it “serious,” and saying the forces failed to properly communicate about their deployment in real-time.

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