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Legal groups accuse US of human rights abuses in Vieques

The National Lawyers Guild and other groups have filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the U.S. government in a case involving Puerto Ricans living in the island of Vieques, which was once used as a bombing range.

The petition accuses the U.S. of abuses following decades of live-fire training on the island by the U.S. Navy. The military left in 2003 after an errant bomb killed a security guard in 1999.

Attorney Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan said Tuesday that families continue to suffer serious health conditions because of a toxic environment.

The petition was filed Monday on behalf of 10 Vieques residents who had cancer or have relatives who are sick.

Cleanup of the former bombing range is expected to take another decade.