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‘Stolen’ army explosives found in Winnipeg home

WINNIPEG – A fight at a house party ended with the police bomb squad being called to an upscale Winnipeg neighbourhood Sunday after officers found military explosives on scene.

Two Winnipeg soldiers are facing a long list of charges including weapons offences after the fracas on Royal Mint Drive. It began when two men, both members of local reserve army units, arrived at the house for a party and retrieved some guns that were stored there. Police say the 25 year old resident and his 20-year-old friend handled the weapons “in an unsafe manner” while several other people were present.

Later, a fight broke out between the two soldiers and another man they suspected of stealing. Police say the victim was assaulted and threatened with weapons. When police arrived early Sunday morning they also found “stolen military training weapons” which Global News has learned are explosives known as “thunderflashes” which are used in army field exercises to simulate the detonation of grenades. A police bomb squad vehicle was parked in front of the east Winnipeg house Sunday.

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A spokesperson for 38 Canadian Brigade Group, which oversees reserve military units here, confirms one of the men is a member of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and the other is a member of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada: both army reserve infantry units based in Winnipeg.

Lt. Donna Riguidel says the firearms seized by police were not military weapons. But she confirmed the explosives found are thunderflashes. Police refused to say what kinds of firearms were seized.

Riguidel says it’s not clear yet if military police will investigate the two soldiers, as the case is currently in the hands of city police. But she says the handling and storage of weapons, including the thunderflashes, is strictly controlled and the soldiers could face discipline up to and including dismissal for any violations.

Police say they found more weapons in another home on Tupelo Street.

The two are facing a long list of charges:

Accused #1 is a 25 year old male of Winnipeg and has been charged with the following:
• Assault Cause Bodily Harm
• Utter Threats to Cause Bodily Harm
• Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose X 2
• Explosives – Possessing for Unlawful Purpose X 2
• Explosives – Intent to Cause Explosion
• Careless Use of Firearm X 2
• Breach of Firearms Regulation X 2
• Theft Under $5000 X 2 

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Accused #2 is a 20 year old male of Winnipeg and has been charged with the following:
• Assault Cause Bodily Harm
• Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose X 2
• Explosive – Possession for Unlawful Purpose X 5
• Explosives – Intent Cause Explosion
• Possess Property Obtained by Crime Under
• Careless Use of Firearm X 2
• Theft Under X 4
• Carry Concealed Weapon
• Possess Restricted Firearm
• Breach of Firearm Regulation X 3

Both men were released, pending a future court appearance. Their names were not released.