Japan Downs U.S. Attack Bomber

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HONOLULU: A Japanese destroyer accidentally shot down a U.S attack bomber during military exercises off the coast of Hawaii Tuesday. No one was hurt in the incident, which came when the Japanese vessel Yuugiri fired at a gunnery target being towed by a U.S Navy A-6E Intruder but hit the plane by mistake. The pilot, Lt Commander William Royster, and bombardier-navigator Lt. Keith Douglas, ejected safely from the plane and were rescued within minutes by the Yuugiri. Both suffered only minor cuts and bruises. It is not yet known why the Yuugiri fired on the target in the first place but the Japanese Defense Agency quickly apologized for the accident and decided to halt practice shooting with live ammunition. Japanese navy official Tensuke Kobayashi said that mechanical trouble in the weapons systems may have caused the accidental firing. -->