updated 4/12/2008 5:53:24 PM ET 2008-04-12T21:53:24

The Army is suspending outdoor weapons testing at a northern New Jersey base after a wayward artillery shell fragment crashed through the roof of a home miles away, fatally injuring a pet cat, the base's commanding officer said Saturday.

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Picatinny Arsenal officials will investigate how a 2-pound piece of an artillery round fired from the base ended up crashing through the roof of a Jefferson Township home Friday afternoon, Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips said in a statement.

The Star-Ledger of Newark says the 6-by-4-inch object landed on the bed of a 10-year-old girl. She had left about 20 minutes earlier to go to a sleepover at a friend's house. But the family cat was injured and had to be put to sleep.

The house is about two and a half miles from the Picatinny Arsenal, which was conducting weapons tests at the time.

Phillips said he visited the home Friday night and apologized.

Picatinny is the site of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, which conducts research, development and engineering for weapons systems.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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