Two IDF Soldiers Killed in Grenade Explosion

Three other soldiers were injured in the incident that occurred at a military outpost at the entrance to the northern Druze village of Majdal Shams

Two IDF Soldiers Killed in Grenade Explosion

Two IDF soldiers were killed today (Sunday), and three others were wounded when a grenade in the possession of a driver of a light armored military vehicle went off on Mount Hermon.

The casualties have been named as 20-year-old Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, a soldier in the 401 Brigade, originally from New Jersey, and 24-year-old St.-Sgt. Husam Tafash, of Beit Jann. GOC Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, has appointed a commission to investigate the incident

A senior IDF source provided preliminary details of the incident. According to the source's account, an IDF David light armored vehicle, carrying soldiers and a commander from the 601 Battalion – a part of the Combat Engineers Brigade – pulled over near the Majdal Shams checkpoint position. The jeep came to a stop a meter away from the position's concrete wall.

"At this stage, a conversation began, and the driver exited the vehicle, holding the grenade," the source said. The driver, a reservist from the northern Druse village of Beit Jann, had previously served as a career military driver and recently returned to service. As the driver walked around the front of the vehicle, holding the grenade, the lone soldier, who was part of the checkpoint personnel, stood between the jeep and the wall.

"We do not understand the circumstances of this event yet," the source said. "The commander of the David vehicle then opened his door. At this time, the blast occurred."

While combat soldiers who take part in the clearing of border roads are armed with grenades, drivers of military vehicles are not. "We have to understand why he exited the vehicle holding the grenade," the source said. "This is something the committee of experts will determine.

The explosion killed the driver holding the grenade, and the lone soldier standing between the jeep and the wall. The commander in the vehicle sustained serious injuries. Two additional soldiers were lightly wounded by shrapnel.

The IDF assembled a committee to investigate the blast, headed by Col. Yoav Yarom, the commander of the Third Reserves Brigade. Senior officers from Northern Command and the Ground Forces will take part in the investigation.

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