U.S. EXTENDS MARIANAS BOMBING PRACTICE

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 24) - The United States navy has extended its live-fire training exercises on the coral island of Farallon de Medinilla in the Northern Marianas.

The Emergency Management Office says the live bombing drills were due to end on Sunday, February 21, 2003 but it has been extended.

The office says the general public; especially fishermen, commercial pilots and tour operators have been advised to stay away from the location.

Meanwhile, the navy on Guam has apologized to the CNMI for failing to notify the authorities before resuming live-fire training exercises on the island last week.

The island is the U.S. military's only live-fire bombing range in the western Pacific and has been a training target for bombs, missiles and naval gunfire for more than 30 years.

February 25, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au

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