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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Non-combat deaths in Russian Armed Forces total 131 since Jan. 1

RIA Novosti

13:1325/05/2009 MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 131 Russian servicemen have died in non-combat-related incidents since the start of 2009, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"As a result of crimes and non-combat accidents, including suicides, 131 servicemen have died in the Russian Armed Forces since the beginning of this year," the ministry said on its website.

The deaths were due to suicides (69, or over 50%), accidents (36), violation of road traffic and transport operation rules (10), murder and negligent manslaughter (11), hazing (1) and careless handling of firearms (4), the report said.

In 2008, a total of 135 servicemen were killed in non-combat-related incidents during the same period. Suicides were also the main cause of deaths, totaling 79, or about 58%.

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