A 22-year-old Spanish legionnaire wearing a flak jacket has been accidentally shot dead during war games when a bullet from an assault rifle hit him in the armpit.
The incident took place around 6.20pm in Alicante in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia.
The Spanish Legion, informally known as the Tercios, is a unit of the Spanish Army and Spain’s Rapid Reaction Force.
Alejandro Jimenez Cruz belonged to the 3rd Legion Tercio ‘Don Juan de Austria’, a Rapid Reaction Force based in Viator in southern Spain, which he had reportedly joined in November 2018.
Although details are currently unclear, it is believed that Cruz was hit by a ricocheted bullet as he was not in the front lines during the military exercise.
Reports said that the bullet entered the legionnaire’s armpit and a rescue helicopter was needed to fly the young man to hospital where he later died.
The officer, who was wearing a flak jacket at the time, was reportedly shot by a 5.56-mm Heckler and Koch assault rifle.
The accident is currently under investigation.
It is the second time that a legionnaire has been killed during training exercises in less than a year.
In May 2018, a 27-year-old serviceman died after being run over by an armoured vehicle.
According to local media, the soldiers in the armoured vehicle heard screams outside and went to check.
They found their colleague lying on the ground and tried to help him, but the legionnaire died in the army ambulance on the way to hospital