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Real Bullets Used in French Military Demonstration Injuring 17

The French military accidentally used real bullets instead of blanks, during a demonstration this weekend, injuring 17 people, including three children.

The demonstration, intended to showcase hostage-freeing techniques, left a 3-year-old child in critical condition. Chief Bernard Lemaire said the soldier who fired the real bullets has been detained, as the apparent accident has not been ruled out as a criminal act. French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited victims at the Carcassonne hospital and promised punishment for the negligence.

In other French military news — Sarkozy now must face critics who claim he exchanged French independence for American domination by deciding to bring France back under NATO's unified military command, 42 years after Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of full participation. The decision also raises questions about France's attitude toward a unified European Union military policy, separate from NATO.

Should Europe embrace NATO as its military future or pursue an America-free defense policy? As for the bullet incident, I hope the victims in critical condition pull through and the cause of the accident is avoided in the future.

Join The Conversation
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 9 years
oh snap
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I see they finally found the ammunition they were supposed to use against the Germans. :coffee:
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
That's quite an accident.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Ah, the French and their wacky stunts...
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
HOLY CRAP. i can see one injury resulting from real bullets - but why did they keep shooting?!!!
janneth janneth 9 years
Real bullets, how could this happen? Waiting for an update on that. And the EU is interesting. I feel individual countries should have some autonomy, but on the other hands, how would France like it if other countries entered into alliances that she is not a part of?
colleenb colleenb 9 years
My, what a French profile Sarkozy has!
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