A young man was shot on Thursday morning during Lithuanian border guard's chase of two vehicles with suspected smugglers near the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. The injured man later died in hospital, the country's State Border Guard Service said.

A Ford Mondeo carrying smuggled cigarettes rammed a border guards' vehicle within the boundaries of Druskininkai Municipality, southern Lithuania and was later detained after it drove into a ditch.

The second car, a Peugeot 605, refused to stop and border guards fired two warning shots and later, as the vehicle did not stop, shots were fired at the car's tires. After the car was finally detained, it emerged that one of the men inside it was injured. He was taken to a local hospital and later died.

"We had trustworthy information about planned illegal activity, smuggling of cigarettes over the Nemunas from Belarus to Lithuania, and that the shipment will move in the territory of Lithuania," SBGS chief Renatas Požela told journalists on Thursday.

He refused to comment on the actions of the border guard who fired the deadly shot, adding that an investigation will determine their legitimacy.

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