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Residents Startled By Army Drill

MIAMI, (UPI) — A U.S. Army spokesman said the sounds of helicopters and explosions coming from a Miami hotel were part of an urban training exercise.

Residents of the Coconut Grove neighborhood reported being awakened by the sound of helicopters around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday and seeing soldiers rappelling down from the vehicles to the Grand Bay Hotel, where they set off flares and smoke bombs, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

Maj. Michael Burns, a U.S. Army spokesman, said the “realistic urban training” exercise was organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command and involved about 100 military personnel, three military helicopters and simulated gunfire and explosions.

“They have to train in a realistic environment,” Burns said. “We didn’t use any real bullets.”

Burns said Miami police helped oversee the exercise to ensure the safety of the public.

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