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At Least 7 Die in Russia Blast Bordering Ukraine

Illustrative photo Pelagia Tikhonova / Moskva News Agency

An accidental grenade blast in a Russian region bordering Ukraine has led to at least seven deaths, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

"Four dead have been found among the missing. The number of victims has increased to seven people," the emergency services told Interfax.

It added that the search for four more people was continuing.

Over the weekend a sergeant in the southern Belgorod region "unintentionally" detonated a hand grenade inside a dormitory at a location for military personnel, Interfax said, citing emergency services.

According to Interfax, the grenade triggered an ammunition blast and subsequent fire, killing three servicemen and injuring 16 others, including the perpetrator. 

Unconfirmed reports from the Telegram channel Baza, which is close to Russian security services, said all the dead and injured were soldiers mobilized to fight in Ukraine.

Russia announced the mobilization of 300,000 men in late September to bolster Russian troops in Ukraine following a series of defeats on the ground.

Critics say many mobilized men hardly had any battlefield experience and have received little training before being sent to the front.

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