4 killed, 8 wounded in Indonesian military drill in Natuna

Soldiers during a military exercise in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Soldiers during a military exercise in Nusa Dua, Bali.PHOTO: JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BATAM (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Four soldiers were killed and eight were wounded after a Chinese-made cannon malfunctioned and fired off shots randomly during military exercises in Tanjung Datuk, Natuna, Riau Islands province, on Wednesday (May 17).

The incident happened during target practice with the Giant Bow cannon held by an Indonesian Army quick response team (PPRC TNI AD) at the Air Defence Artillery 1/K compound.

The exercises were reportedly part of preparations ahead of a May 19 event during which a military parade will be conducted in front of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

However, Army spokesman Colonel Alfret Denny Tuejeh denied the exercises were connected to a parade, saying they were just regular exercises.

He had previously confirmed that the incident occurred during a "rehearsal".

"The incident occurred during the second round of exercises," he said on Wednesday, adding that the incident happened at about 11am.

The gears "malfunctioned" after the first round of exercises proceeded smoothly, he said.

The eight wounded soldiers were taken to Natuna General Hospital (RSUD Natuna), he added.