Donetsk, Aug 16 - DAN. A Ukrainian serviceman was killed and his three colleagues were wounded in a mortar tube explosion, Donetsk People’s Republic Operations Command spokesman Daniil Bezsonov said on Thursday.

“At night, a 120mm round exploded in a mortar tube on positions of 503rd Battalion, 36th Marines Brigade, as servicemen were preparing to shell the territory of our Republic,” Bezsonov said. “One gunman was killed and another three were wounded,” he added.

According to preliminary information, the explosion occurred due to an ammunition round defect.

The spokesman said that the Brigade’s commanders had been concealing the fact.

It is not the first Ukrainian army mortar accident. In July 2018, three Ukrainian servicemen were killed and another nine were wounded in a Molot blast in the Rovno region. In July 2016, one Ukrainian servicemen was killed and eight were wounded in a Molot explosion at a firing range in the Nikolayev region. There have been 12 fault-related Molot explosions since the new mortar entered in service with the Ukrainian army in 2016, The Ukrinform news agency cited head of the Ukrainian Arms and Military Equipment Research Institute Igor Chepkov as saying.*jk