Military exercise mistaken for invasion

A press release photo of soldiers on a training exercise by the seaImage copyright
Finnish Army

Image caption

Finland’s military held large-scale training exercises last week

Finland’s armed forces caused alarm on one of the country’s own islands when an after-dark training exercise was mistaken for a real invasion, it’s reported.

Kamsholmen island resident Bjarne Winberg watched as a large boat docked near his house and unloaded a group of uniformed men carrying rucksacks and what looked like guns, the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper reports. When the group headed into the forest, Mr Winberg hopped into his own boat, fled the island and called the emergency services. “Of course I was scared,” he tells the paper.

It subsequently transpired that last week’s unexpected late-night arrival, was part of the military’s spring training exercises. What isn’t clear is whether Kamsholmen was a planned stop on the military’s route. While the local Ostnyland newspaper quoted a defence spokesman as saying the island wasn’t meant to feature in the exercises, other reports suggest organisers had intended to land there but forgot to tell residents.

There’s some consolation for islanders who were worried by the non-invasion, though. Ostnyland reports that coffee brand Gevalia, long marketed as being ideal when faced with “unexpected visitors”, has spotted an unlikely marketing opportunity in the news. The company says it will send free packs of coffee to anyone who had “unexpected military guests”.

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