The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has concluded its investigation into the death of MNDF Sergeant Ibrahim Shaukath, who was accidently shot in the head while he was on SAARC Bodyguard Training.
In a statement, the MNDF said that the investigation team had determined that Shukath’s death occurred due to the negligence of Lieutenant Muaz Mohamed.
The MNDF said that Shaukath was accidently shot while he and fellow MNDF Officers were doing a private training in the resting area to prepare for a ‘’wounded shoot’’ test due to be held the next day of the incident.
In a ‘Wounded Shoot’ exercise, soldiers are trained how to shoot and reload when one hand is wounded. While they were practicing, Muaz received a magazine with a bullet in it did not check whether the magazine was loaded before putting it into his pouch.
According to the MNDF he inserted the magazine into his pistol and fired at Shaukath. The soldiers were standing in a circle when the incident occurred and Shaukath was in front of Muaz.
The MNDF said the incident was unintentional but due to the negligence of Muaz, he had been ousted from the course and transferred to a section where he does not have to handle weapons.
The MNDF said that according to its regulation it is a required to check whether a magazine has bullets before firing, and that in the bodyguard Training, instructors had not told the students that officers should point weapons at each other in violation of MNDF regulations.
‘’While bodyguard Training is a high risk course, there wasn’t an adequate number of trained instructors sent to the program,’’ the MNDF statement acknowledged.
There were not enough magazines to use in the program and officers had to share magazines, a practice that was not safe, noted the MNDF in the statement, adding that officers had mismanaged the issuing of the magazines.
‘’That day there was only one first aid-trained person in the training centre, and he was also not a person trained for high risk programs,’’ the MNDF said in the statement. ‘’Some tools that are used in first-aid were unavailable at the training centre and the emergency vehicle used in the training was not an adequate vehicle to use in emergencies.’’
The MNDF said that the issues noted in the investigation have been sent to the Defence Ministry as recommendations.