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Pentagon bans 60mm mortar round after deaths

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 20 2013 06:03:48 AM CDT
HAWTHORNE, Nev. -

(AP) - The Pentagon has expanded a temporary ban to prohibit the military from firing any 60mm mortar rounds until an investigation determines them to be safe.
    
The decision came after an explosion during an exercise Monday night killed seven Marines and injured a half-dozen more during mountain warfare training in Nevada's high desert. An eighth Marine has since died.
    
The training involved the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
    
The Marine Corps said Tuesday a "blanket suspension" of 60mm mortars and associated firing tubes is in effect until it can review their safe use.
    
The Pentagon earlier had suspended use of all high-explosive and illumination mortar rounds that were in the same manufacturing lots as ones fired in Nevada.