By Evie Andreou
A probe was ordered into an incident that occurred on Tuesday night at the Larnaca boot camp when reportedly a large number of new conscripts were aggravated when two military police officers gave a hard time to a fellow conscript for buying souvlakia, the defence ministry announced on Wednesday.
The ministry dismissed as hogwash reports circulating on social media through an online news portal according to which, the two military officers spotted a new conscript outside the boot camp buying souvlakia and they chased him with a car resulting in him being injured after he was hit by the vehicle’s side mirror.
CyBC said the conscript had tried to bring the souvlakia into the camp and the military police officers tried to stop him.
The incident, social media said, caused uproar among the conscripts who broke the camp’s gate with around 100 soldiers rioting and leaving the premises.
“This report is nonsense, there was indeed a small incident which ended within 15 to 20 minutes and it involved two military police men in the camp who asked explanations from a new conscript who had bought souvlakia, but officers stepped in and the incident came to an end,” the defence ministry’s chief of staff Costas Fytiris told the Cyprus Mail.
He added that one soldier, had suffered minor scratches on his hand caused from falling on the ground.
“I myself went to the camp last night and everything was in order. This is still a transitional period for the new conscripts, they only checked in a few days ago, it was an incident between 18-year-olds, which we stopped, but of course we launched a probe,” Fytiris said.
The reports of the alleged uproar worried several parents who rushed to the boot camp, Fytiris said. No soldiers left the camp, he said, and when he arrived there everyone was in their sleeping quarters, Fytiris said.
The defence ministry said in an announcement that “for reasons under investigation, the tension caused between two military police men on duty and a conscript, had upset the rest [of the conscripts]” but thanks to the prompt reaction of the camp’s commander and other officers the incident came to a halt.
It adds that all conscripts were called to report and no-one was found missing.