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Nov 14, 2013 1:11 AM by Kirsten Boyd

Four Marines killed during ordnance operation

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Marine official says four Marines were killed today during an operation to clear a range of unexploded ordnance at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

The identities of the dead are being withheld pending notification of relatives. Authorities are investigating the cause.

Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard is offering condolences and "heartfelt prayers" to the families of the Marines killed. The commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton says the "first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time."

The deaths come about eight months after a mortar explosion killed seven Marines during a live-fire training exercise in Nevada.

A military investigation determined human error was to blame for that accident. The investigation also determined the mortar team involved in the accident had not conducted "appropriate preparatory training."

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