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US loses legal bid to dismiss Bikini lawsuit for A-damages

A US court denied a government bid Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit by the people of the Pacific atoll of Bikini demanding $450 million damages for the destruction of their home by nuclear tests.

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The court of claims ruled the government had a contract to care for more than 1,200 islanders made homeless by 23 US atomic and hydrogen bomb tests on the atoll, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, between 1946 and 1958. The United States was ordered to answer the islanders' case within 30 days.

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