17 injured by live amo at open day

From correspondents in Carcassonne, France | June 30, 2008

FOUR people including a child were in a critical condition today after live bullets were used instead of blanks during a French special forces open day, army and regional officials said.

Seventeen people were injured in total.

Fifteen civilians and two soldiers were injured in the incident, of which the details remained unclear, involving a demonstration by members of a marines parachute regiment of hostage liberation exercises, a regional authority, Bernard Lemaire, said.

Four of the 17 were seriously injured, with two described as critical following "incomprehensible'' scenes at the barracks near Carcassone, in the country's south-west.

According to local authorities, five children were among the injured.

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The injured have my sympathy and hope they make a full recovery. That said, let the French army jokes begin!