Cyprus Mail

Injured soldier stable but surgeon slams National Guard

By George Psyllides

The condition of a soldier who lost his hand in a grenade explosion has stabilised and he has been taken off a ventilator, doctors said on Friday afternoon, amid questions about the quality of the munitions used by the National Guard.

“The patient displays stable vital functions, he has been disengaged from the ventilator, and communicates fully,” a hospital statement said.

Earlier Friday, doctors had described the 18-year-old conscript, Andreas Doulapas’ condition as critical but under control.

A staff sergeant, 38, was also injured in Thursday’s frag grenade explosion at the Asgata firing range, near Kalavasos.

The incident happened at around 12pm.

Athos Yiannakou was said to be in better condition after sustaining injuries to various parts of his body.

Alkis Alkiviadis, the surgeon who treated Doulapas, slammed the state, charging that the munitions used by the National Guard were substandard.

Reports said Doulapas was about to hurl the frag grenade when it exploded prematurely, suggesting it was faulty.

His hand was blown away.

“The hand issue is finished,” Alkiviadis told Sigma TV. “The lad has problems in the abdomen and thorax.”

Alkiviades said those responsible should now look at the cheap, substandard, grenades they procured in a bid to collect kickbacks.

The doctor said the grenades in question had been bought from Egypt.

Describing officials as “donkeys” Alkiviadis charged that all they did was take kickbacks but no one was over brought to book.

“They all cover each other,” he said.

The exercise was part of training new recruits hoping to join the navy’s elite underwater demolition units OYK.

The defence ministry has launched an investigation into the incident.


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