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At least one dead on military exercise

At least one Swiss soldier has died and four are missing following a military boating exercise on the River Kander near Wimmis in canton Bern.

This content was published on June 12, 2008 - 14:18

The defence ministry confirmed on Thursday that another five men were now in hospital - two in a serious condition - but was unable to give the precise cause of the accident.

The alarm was raised around 11:30 am. Two dinghies tipped over on the river. Swiss radio reports said the stretch of the river where the accident occurred is considered dangerous and closed to commercial rafting.

The latest fatal incident involving the Swiss army follows the death in July 2007 of six mountain climbers who were hit by an avalanche on the southwest flank of the Jungfrau peak – Switzerland's worst military accident for 15 years.

Questions were raised at the time about whether the army had underestimated the risks.

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