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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 509-01
October 13, 2001

JDAM MISSES INTENDED TARGET IN AFGHANISTAN

At approximately 6:30 p.m. EDT yesterday (Oct. 12), a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet missed its intended target and inadvertently dropped a 2000-pound GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) in a residential area near Kabul Airport, Afghanistan. The intended target was a military helicopter at Kabul Airport, approximately one mile from the residential area.

We regret the loss of any civilian life. U.S. forces are intentionally striking only military and terrorist targets. They take great care in their targeting process to avoid civilian casualties. We have no accurate way of estimating the number of casualties, but reports from the ground indicate there may have been four deaths and eight injured.

Although details are being investigated and may take several days, preliminary indications are that the accident occurred from a targeting process error.

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