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Department of Defence
Media Release


02/12/2008 MECC 382/08



Defence is conducting an investigation into the cause of the accidental discharge of smoke canisters from an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) operating in Baghdad on Sunday 23 November 2008.


The ADF has been advised that four Iraqi civilian vehicles were damaged and two Iraqi men received superficial burns to their hands when they reportedly attempted to remove hot debris from their cars.


Initial assessment is that the debris is likely to have come from four smoke canisters that were accidently discharged from an ASLAV.


The Iraqi men were treated at the scene by Coalition Forces with burn cream. They were assessed as receiving only minor burns to their hands. The injured men have not sought additional hospital treatment at a nearby military hospital.


Defence has concluded an initial assessment and found that it is highly likely that the accidental firing of the smoke grenades was caused by the close confines of the operating environment within the ASLAV and unintentional body contact.


A formal investigation is now underway and will seek to determine the facts of the situation and whether any other damage or injury resulted from the accidental discharge.


The smoke canisters are mounted in launchers on the ASLAVs and are used to create a screen in order to obscure the actions of troops when faced with a threat.


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664




Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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