Kazakhstan said on Saturday it was investigating the drowning of four soldiers during an ill-fated military exercise on the Caspian Sea.
Defence minister Imangali Tasmagambetov on Saturday visited the Caspian city of Aktau where an amphibious landing exercise went wrong the day before and relieved four regional military officials of their duties.
The country's military prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident that saw Bauyrzhan Zholdabay, Asylzhan Makhambetov and Bagytzhan Kalybay and Amir Adylov all drown as a quartet of BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers sank in choppy waters during an attempted amphibious landing.
"Initial findings indicate that the incident took place as a result of a poor decision when practising an amphibious landing in the absence of landing equipment," a statement from the defence ministry said.
Three of the soldiers were just 19 years old while Adylov was 23.Tasmagambetov, a former prime minister occasionally tipped to succeed 75-year-old President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said the government would arrange transport of the bodies and compensation for the families of the deceased.