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Report criticizes Dutch defense ministry for deadly accident

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An independent report into the deaths of two soldiers killed in an artillery training accident in Mali in 2016 has criticized the Dutch defense ministry for "serious shortcomings" in its care for troops sent on the African peacekeeping mission.

The Dutch Safety Board report published Thursday says that "ammunition security and good medical facilities became subordinate to the progress of the mission in Mali." Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert says in a written reaction that "it is our duty to prevent a repetition" of the accident, which left a third soldier seriously wounded.

The safety board says the two soldiers were killed instantly when a mortar shell exploded during a training exercise near a Dutch military base in Kidal, Mali. The other man was injured by shrapnel.