A French pilot filed a legal complaint after being made to practice a traumatising ritual in which he was tied to a target while fighter jets opened fire around him.  He was posted to an airbase in the south of Corsica in March 2019, where he was grabbed by his colleagues and tied up with adhesive tapes, said his lawyer on Friday, reported La Provence.

After wrapping a bag over his head, the Frenchman was then subjected to a live-fire target range while being tied up to a target, and fighter jets opened fire that dropped munitions around him for 20 minutes, reported the newspaper. 

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The lawyer, Frederic Berna told AFP that he lodged a legal complaint about the incident at a court in Marseille in the midweek, which could be an issue of endangering someone's life and aggravated violence.

Video and pictures of the hooded and motionless victim, in which the perpetrators are clearly visible, has been handed over to prosecutors.

The revelations came just months after the conviction of three French soldiers for a brutal initiation ceremony at France's prestigious military academy. The men were charged for manslaughter in January over the death of a young recruit who drowned at the Saint-Cyr academy in 2012.   

The 24-year-old victim had been asked to swim through swampy water in the middle of the night, weighed down by equipment, to the sound of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries".

Asked about the allegations in Corsica, a spokesman for the French air force told AFP that an investigation had been launched once the chief-of-staff learned about the incident in May 2019.

"Strong sanctions" had been decided against the perpetrators, the spokesman said, without specifying the punishment or the ranks of those implicated.

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"The air force condemns any activity that could cause phyical or psychological damage to its personnel," he added.

Bullying and humiliating initiation ceremonies, known as hazing, are common in armed forces around the world and have been linked to mental health problems, suicides and sometimes murder.

A Russian soldier was handed a 24-year prison term in January this year after gunning down eight of his colleagues in 2019 who he said had made his life "hell".