A unit of the Russian army by mistake fired mortar rounds at a school in southwest Dagestan region while aiming for insurgents hiding elsewhere in the area, officials said on Friday.
The Investigative Committee said several rounds exploded in the premises of a boarding school in Buinaksk city Thursday, injuring no one but damaging the building.
The incident was initially blamed on military exercises, but the defence ministry later said none were being held in the region at the time.
An investigation showed that the army was hunting for Islamist rebels. But the squad commander gave wrong directions to the mortar crew, which fired at the school instead of a militant hideout.
No militants were reported killed in the area Thursday, though the leader of the so-called “Kizlyar gang” was shot dead some 160 km to the north of the city.