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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

486 Noncombat Deaths in Army

Nearly 500 servicemen died in accidents, suicides, hazing incidents and other noncombat situations in the first half of 2002, the military said Thursday, issuing figures that did not include deaths in the war in Chechnya.

At least 486 servicemen died over the six-month period, 127 while on duty and at least 356 while off-duty, Lieutenant-General Vasily Smirnov, the acting chief of the general staff's mobilization department, was quoted by Interfax as saying.

The figure for on-duty deaths was 30 percent lower than over the first half of 2001, Smirnov said. He said that another 2,270 servicemen deserted but that most of them had returned to their units; 860 were still missing.

Suicide was the leading cause of death, with 185 servicemen killing themselves in the first six months of 2002, 89 of them while off duty or on leave.

Accidental deaths accounted for 114 of the deaths and 99 servicemen died in traffic accidents.

Seven soldiers were killed in hazing incidents while on duty, two died of alcohol poisoning and 11 because of what the military called personal imprudence, Smirnov said. He did not give those figures for off-duty servicemen. Civilian criminals killed 85 off-duty soldiers.

Most of the figures were lower than during the same period last year.