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thedrifter
04-25-03, 09:13 AM
April 24, 2003

Marines barred from firing captured Iraqi weapons

By Gina Cavallaro
Times staff writer



NASIRIYAH, Iraq Marines in Iraq are barred from firing captured weapons, in the aftermath of an April 22 accident in which three Marines died and seven were injured during a test of a captured Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade.
Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force, issued the order.

Two Marines were killed instantly and a third later died of injuries when the grenade exploded during the test, which was conducted at a remote training range near the Iraqi town of Kut.

The names of the killed and injured Marines were being withheld as of April 24, pending notification of next of kin.

All but one of the Marines was wearing flak vests at the time of the explosion. The one Marine who was not wearing a flak vest sustained serious abdominal injuries, including a lacerated liver.

A medic who treated the Marines said they suffered head and extremity injuries.

In some circumstances, Marines are authorized to fire foreign weapons to become familiar with their use and capabilities, according to a I MEF statement. The RPGs were the only weapons being fired April 22.

The outcome of an investigation into the accident is pending.

Sempers,

Roger