Four Swedish military servicemen were injured Saturday during NATO’s military exercise, Trident Juncture, in Norway, Belgian national news agency Belga reported, adding that the soldiers had sustained injuries when a tank collided with a military car in which they were at the time.
The injured were rushed to hospital, with two of the group leaving soon after their check-up, while the others remained there to continue their treatment. There are no reports as to the soldiers’ condition, but their lives are not in danger, the agency noted.
NATO is conducting the biggest military drills since the end of the Cold War in Norway, which kicked off on October 25 and will continue until November 7. About 50,000 soldiers, military forces and equipment from all 29 member states, as well as partners Sweden and Finland, are engaged in the rehearsal of a collective defense scenario envisioning an offensive by a hypothetical enemy.
In late October, four US soldiers were injured in an accident involving four vehicles in Norway, as three of them crashed with the fourth, narrowly avoiding a pile-up, according to a statement by the US military.
Days ahead of the NATO wargames, crowds of Norwegians gathered in several cities, including downtown Trondheim, in the vicinity of which US marines were stationed last year despite multiple protests, to voice their concerns over the nuclear arms race and further militarization of the country.
According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the alliance actively uses the myth of a "Russian threat" when engaging in drill activity, which Moscow has reiterated on multiple occasions will undermine regional stability and inevitably lead to a new arms race.
Moscow has repeatedly stated, in connection with the increased presence of NATO forces at its borders, that it does not pose a threat to anyone, but will not disregard actions potentially dangerous to its interests, Shoigu added.