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Cursed commando course sees nine more soldiers leave as lawyers step-in to help grieving families

The cursed Commando training course that saw two recruits die last month, and at least nine others taken seriously ill, is back in the news today, following damning television evidence that the army may be embarking on an insidious cover-up.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã suggests another nine soldiers have quit the course and nine more have been failed “for not attaining the objectives imposed on them”.

These numbers follow the 17 who dropped out after the course was suspended following the deaths of Hugo Abreu, 20, from Madeira, and Dylan da Silva, also 20, from Ponte de Lima (click here).

CM also claims two lawyers have stepped into the controversy, saying they are prepared to help the families of the two young men “discover what really happened” ‘pro-bono’.

The lawyers’ intervention could end with a claim for damages from the State and the army, adds CM – saying it followed declarations by Dylan da Silva’s mother that the dead soldier’s family had not yet lodged an official complaint as it does not have the money “available” to do so.

Da Silva’s mother says the family is determined nonetheless to ensure the tragedy is not forgotten.

Only last week, RTP channel Sexta às 9 released interviews that suggest the army’s version of how Abreu and de Silva died could not be the whole truth.

In fact, witnesses told investigators that moment’s before he went into convulsions in temperatures of over 40º heat, Hugo Abreu was “forced to inhale and eat earth” (click here).

The army meantime says it is undertaking its own investigations and will be reporting on them very soon.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com