Swedish soldier dies in shooting accident

A Swedish conscript has died after being shot in a military exercise in the Stockholm archipelago on Tuesday afternoon.

The conscript was serving with the 1st Marine Regiment in Berga. He was shot during an exercise on the island of Utö.

The victim was on a boat when the incident occurred, according to the Armed Forces’ website. The bullet hit his abdomen and exited close to his shoulderblade, the statement said.

The injured man was taken to the Karolinska University Hospital by helicopter, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the Armed Forces, a sail boat was found to be approaching a restricted area in which the exercise was taking place and a patrol boat went out to stop it.

At the same time, the leader of the exercise instructed the patrol boat to inform the sail boat that it was entering restricted waters.

A short time later news arrived that the conscript on board the patrol boat had been shot.

Relatives of the victim have been informed of the incident.

“What has happened is unbelievably tragic and our thoughts go to relatives and friends. We’re offiering the family crisis support to help then manage their grief,” said Commander Jonas Olsson, head of the Marine Regiment, in a statement on the Armed Forces website.

“We view this with dismay. Its unbelievably tragic—something that’s not supposed to happen has happened,” said Björn Dahlén, chair of Värnpliktsrådet, a council which represent’s the interests of Swedish conscripts.

“After all, three members of the council have served in the same unit as the man who has died and we shocked here. It’s safe to say that the entire Armed Forces are in a state of shock,” he said.

Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors also issued a statement about the incident.

“I was reached tonight of the tragic news that the conscript who had been shot earlier today, has died, and with a heavy heart I feel a hopelessness regarding the accident’s result. I’m thinking of his family and friends, as well as his fellow soldiers and commanders of the unit and can only imagine the sorry they are feeling.”

The police are investigating the deadly shooting, which will also be examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board.