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National serviceman dies of handgun wound at Vekaranjärvi garrison

Monday incident marks third death of conscript soldier in Karelia Brigade in just over a year

National serviceman dies of handgun wound at Vekaranjärvi garrison
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Monday’s death of a national serviceman at the Vekaranjärvi garrison, near Kouvola, marks the third fatality in the Karelia Brigade in a short space of time. The previous such incident took place in August and the one before that just over a year ago.
      The Defence Forces cannot confirm that the latest death was a suicide, for the police investigation into the case is still under way, Chief of Staff Reima Helminen told Helsingin Sanomat.
      According to Brigadier-General Timo Kivinen, the Commander of the Karelia Brigade, serious consideration of possible steps to be taken is now in order.
      The man, who began his compulsory military service in January, died of a bullet from a handgun on Monday morning. No crime is suspected in connection with the incident, and nobody else was hurt.
The national serviceman was from Southern Finland. He had been absent without leave for a week and had returned to the garrison on Sunday.
      “None of the three cases have involved suspicions of foul play or problems with the code of conduct. More than 2.5 million handgun cartridges are used in the Brigade each year. Unfortunately sometimes live ammunition ends up where it does not belong.”
      Kivinen insists that help is on hand for conscript soldiers who struggle with mental or physical issues.
      There is a health clinic in the garrison, and the social welfare officers and military chaplains form their own network.

Previously in HS International Edition:
  Death of national serviceman may cause changes to supplying conscripts with live rounds in training exercises (4.11.2010)
  Armed national serviceman gone missing in Kouvola region found dead after extensive search (2.11.2010)

Helsingin Sanomat

  1.11.2011 - TODAY
 National serviceman dies of handgun wound at Vekaranjärvi garrison

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