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Vieques Bombing Exercises to Begin
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -
The U.S. Navy has notified the Puerto Rican government
that it plans to resume bombing exercises on the island of Vieques
as early as Monday, an official said.
Vieques Commissioner Juan Fernandez said on� Tuesday
that the Navy's top official in Puerto Rico, Rear Adm.
Kevin Green, sent him a letter asking him to be
present on Vieques for the first day of maneuvers
Fernandez monitors the bombing for the Puerto Rican
government from an observation post overlooking the
The Navy had previously notified the Puerto Rican
government of its plans. But there had been
uncertainty about whether the exercises would go
forward as planned after the attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon (news - web sites) last
The exercises could last as long as 23 days,
Opposition to Navy training on the Puerto Rican
island surged after a civilian security guard was
killed on the Vieques range by off-target bombs in
1999. Protesters argue that the bombing causes
environmental and health problems on the island of
9,100 people - charges the Navy denies. The Navy has
used inert bombs since the accident.
Well-known figures previously arrested for
trespassing in Vieques protests include civil rights
leader the Rev. Al Sharpton, actor Edward James
Olmos and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
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