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Puerto Rico asks judge to stop bombing exercises

protest march
Protestors carry a picture of David Sanes, who was killed in a 1999 Navy bombing accident, during a protest march last week, in Vieques, Puerto Rico.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal district judge is considering a request for a temporary restraining order from the governor of Puerto Rico to block the United States from conducting bombing exercises at its Vieques Island range.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler is expected to issue her decision Thursday, according to Puerto Rican Attorney General Anabel Rodriguez.

Tuesday, Puerto Rico Gov. Sila Calderon signed into law an anti-noise act that prohibits activities that produces noises of 190 decibels or greater along the island's shores. Based on that law, Puerto Rico's attorney general then filed a complaint, seeking the restraining order.


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The U.S. Navy has announced its intention to resume using the range on April 27. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suspended exercises on Vieques in March to allow talks with Calderon, who has demanded an end to the bombing.

Calderon said the decision to resume use of the bombing range left her no choice but to seek a remedy in court.

"Since taking office, I have worked tirelessly to reconcile this situation through meaningful discussions," said Calderon. "My desire has always been and continues to be that we resolve this issue through open and honest dialogue. But with the U.S. Navy scheduled to resume bombing, I am left with no other alternative than to take these steps and fight for the rights of people of Vieques and Puerto Rico."

Last year, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested seeking to block use of the bombing range after a guard was killed there by errant bombs.

The Pentagon says it needs the range, which it has used since 1941, for combat training for Navy and Marine pilots.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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