Three Russian soldiers killed in tank explosion: official

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Three Russian soldiers were killed Thursday when ammunition inside their tank exploded during exercises on a Siberian firing range, a regional military spokesman told the Interfax news agency.

A high-level investigation is underway into the cause of the tank blast in Russia's far eastern Buryatia region, Valery Sheblanin, a spokesman for the Siberian Military District, was quoted by the agency as saying.

"The head of the Siberian Military District, Lieutenant General Vladimir Chirkin, is personally overseeing an investigation on the scene," he said.

Deadly accidents and fires are a frequent occurrence in Russia's armed forces, whose military hardware still includes ageing Soviet-era equipment.

© 2010 AFP

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