Soldier Held as French Probe Display That Left 17 Injured
Live ammo substituted for blanks; officials say error, not premeditation, likely
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 10:15 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and Defense Minister Herve Morin answer reporters questions after visiting a shooting victim in Carcassonne, southwestern France Monday June, 30, 2008.    (AP Photo/Remy Gabalda)
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(Newser) – French authorities are investigating a military demonstration gone terribly wrong yesterday, the AFP reports, in which 17 people were wounded when a soldier fired live rounds instead of blanks during a demonstration of hostage-situation techniques. The soldier has been detained, but has no history of psychological problems. "The theory being worked on is one of error," an official said.

"One way or another something went wrong," France's defense minister said. "This type of incident is very rare and incomprehensible. There are procedures in place to prevent this kind of thing." Four of the 17 victims were seriously injured, including one child, but doctors say the most critically injured patient has stabilized.