Stolen anti-tank rocket exploded while M'sian soldier was stripping it for parts

A soldier in a military camp in Kedah stole an anti-tank rocket and tried to strip it for parts to make a quick buck.

But the rocket exploded as he was dismantling it at home.

The blast on the eve of Christmas killed the soldier Kpl Ayub Hashim, 34, his wife Sharifah Azlina Hashim, their 8-year-old daughter Nor Hidayu Shahirah and their 5-year-old neighbour Mohd Aqif Lokman Mohd Shahrizal.

No links to militants

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said initial investigations revealed that the soldier had lined up a few buyers for the bomb’s metal parts.

"We already identified the buyers but we are probing further," he said at a press conference on Friday.

"The soldier did not steal the rocket to launch an attack or arm criminals. It was purely for monetary gain."

He added: "We are investigating how long he has conducted this activity.

"Our findings indicate that there are no links to militants."

Accidentally exploded

The army camp is about 8km from Mr Kpl Ayub's house in the town of Gurun.

Mr Kpl Ayub was grinding the 84mm high-explosive anti-tank weapon at the back of his house when it accidentally exploded.

The blast could be heard up to a kilometre away and damaged many other houses and two vehicles.

The soldier and the two children died on the spot. Madam Sharifah Azlina died a few days later in hospital.

Police said investigations are still ongoing.

Source: The Star Online