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On January 3, 2006, an American military aircraft dropped a precisionguided munition (PGM) on a house near Baiji, Iraq, 150 miles north of Baghdad. The house was thought to be an insurgent redoubt, but media reports indicated the strike was in error; an Iraqi family of twelve was killed, including women and children. Although a military spokesman emphasized the great care with which targets are selected, American military reconnaissance and precision strike capabilities are so advanced that efforts to explain such tragic events as mechanical or human errors have sometimes been met with skepticism.

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