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Shooting at Russian Military Training Ground Leaves 11 Dead, 15 Injured

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MOSCOW—Two recruits opened fire at a Russian military training ground near the border with Ukraine on Saturday, leaving 11 people dead and 15 injured, the state news agency TASS reported. 

The shootings happened during a live-fire training exercise in the Belgorod region. The assailants opened fire with small arms before they in turn were fatally shot, the report said, citing the Russia’s Ministry of Defense. 

TASS quoted ministry officials as calling the incident a terrorist attack and said the two gunmen were volunteers and citizens of a country from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a grouping of former Soviet republics. The report didn’t specify which country the men came from and whether they were included in the toll of 11 dead. 

Tensions have been running high within Russia following President

Vladimir Putin’s

order last month to mobilize more than 300,000 reservists to generate new troops to fight in Ukraine after Russia’s military suffered battlefield losses. Hundreds of thousands of Russian men have left the country, mostly fleeing to bordering nations to avoid the draft.

TASS didn’t provide an explanation for Saturday’s training-ground shootings. Law enforcement agencies are investigating, TASS said, citing defense ministry officials. The Ministry of Defense didn’t respond to a request for comment late Saturday.

The wounded in Saturday’s attack at the training range suffered varying degrees of injuries, including gunshots to the legs and chest, and were taken to a medical facility to be treated, officials said.

Russia launched another set of strikes across Ukraine on Tuesday, a day after its forces fired 84 missiles at several cities that killed at least 19 people. G-7 leaders condemned the attacks against Ukrainian civilians as a war crime. Photo: Leo Correa/Associated Press

Resistance against the mobilization has become violent at times, with recruitment centers coming under attack. Last month, a Russian man opened fire at a military-recruiting station in Siberia, critically wounding its commander, hours after another man rammed a car into the entrance of a different recruitment center and then set it afire with Molotov cocktails. 

The mobilization order has exposed resentment in Russia’s far-flung poorer regions which have been targets of recruitment drives and provided many of the front-line soldiers for the war, now in its eighth month. 

On Friday, Mr. Putin said the mobilization effort would be completed in two weeks and that at this time no further call-up was planned. He said that some 222,000 out of a scheduled draft of 300,000 people have already been mobilized, with 16,000 already performing combat missions.

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