Fatal shooting in training area

AN investigation is continuing today after a serviceman was shot and killed on an East Anglian firing range.The RAF officer, who has not been named, was apparently shot by mistake at a military training camp in West Tofts, near Thetford, yesterday.

AN investigation is continuing today after a serviceman was shot and killed on an East Anglian firing range.

The RAF officer, who has not been named, was apparently shot by mistake at a military training camp in West Tofts, near Thetford, yesterday.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate the man, believed to be aged 30, after the incident at about 11am but he was declared dead at the scene.

The firing range is known as the Stanford Training Area, which is used by Army, Navy and RAF personnel.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance was called to the camp shortly after 11am after reports of a man with serious gunshot wounds.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that an RAF serviceman has died as a result of injuries sustained on a training ground in Norfolk. There will be a full investigation into the incident."

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But she could not provide further details until the dead man's next of kin had been informed.

The Stanford Training Area is on the edge of Thetford Forest and covers 30,000 acres of woodland, heaths, pine forest, lakes, marshes and rivers.

The whole estate is 35 square miles and represents 2% of Norfolk.

It is one of 12 Army training estates across the UK and is used for both live firing and non-firing training for 350 days each year.

For troops in the eastern counties, it is the only substantial training area within easy reach.

There are 11 firing ranges with facilities ranging from individual shooting to advanced field firing exercises with mortars, artillery and ground attack aircraft in support.

Modern optical equipment means night-time training takes place during most of the year, including some live firing.

Every year, 70,000 troops use the camp which, acre for acre, is one of the most intensely used training areas in the UK.

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