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Protesters rally against US military's new fire range on Guam

In this image obtained from the US Department of Defense, a US Air Force B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, prepares to take off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 10-hour mission, flying in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean peninsula, August 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Protesters have staged a rally in the Pacific US territory of Guam to show their opposition to a proposed construction of a firing range for the US military on a pristine wildlife refuge.

The protesters rallied on Tuesday under the banner 'Save Ritidian', the name of the area in the Guam National Wildlife Refuge which is threatened by the proposal by the federal government.

They carried signs reading "Not your target practice" and "Death by firing range".

Some of the protesters voiced their frustration at being viewed as a mere “strategic outpost” for the US, rather than celebrating the island's heritage and culture.

"The military has a long history of doing this, they currently own 27 percent of the land so I don't think that there's a need for any more," said one of the protesters.

The protesters marched on the Guamanian Governor Eddie Calvo's complex to criticize his apparent silence over the proposal.  

The protesters protested in front of the governor's office for more than two hours.

Last week, the military announced that Black Construction Corporation was awarded a $78 million contract to build a firing range for incoming Marines on land which the community has said is one of the last pristine places on the island.

This image shows the Anderson Air Force base in Yigo on the island of Guam on August 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Guam is a US island territory in Micronesia. The island is home to more than 162,000 inhabitants and it houses a US military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.

About 6,000 US troops are also based there. The territory holds strategic geo-political importance for Washington.


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