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Latvian Defence Ministry Apologises to Riga Residents Scared by Military Drill Downtown - Videos

© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya / Go to the photo bankCities of the world. Riga
Cities of the world. Riga - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2021
RIGA (Sputnik) - The Latvian Defence Ministry has offered its apologies to the residents of Riga for the scare caused by the Namejs 2021 military exercise in the city centre.
The drill sparked a backlash among residents after video footage of the military firing blanks among civilians went viral on social media. Eyewitnesses filmed a soldier firing over the head of a woman with a small child, terrifying the latter. Another video showed a military man firing a machine gun over the roofs of cars that were driving along a central street in Riga.

"During such drills, we only use blank cartridges, which make noise but do not pose any danger to the health and life of others. In this case, blank cartridges were also used, and this situation was a bitter misunderstanding, for which we apologise. The Defence Ministry calls on the public to show understanding for the exercises", the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the news portal TVNET.

All national armed forces' drills are organised in full compliance with safety rules and the public is also always informed about upcoming exercises and possible noise, as was done this time, the ministry noted.
The Namejs 2021 drills, running from 30 August to 3 October across Latvia, are aimed at assessing and upgrading the command and control framework of the national armed forces, as well as boosting unit interoperability.
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