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Gates praises troops in southern Afghanistan


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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a hard-hit battle unit today that its heavy losses have helped the U.S. begin to push back against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Gates visited a small, remote outpost 30 miles north of Kandahar, where the Fort Lewi s, Washington-bas e d Stryker unit has lost 22 men and suffered an additional 62 wounded since arriving here last summer. The latest injuries came Monday night, and the latest death three days ago. "You all have had a very tough time," especially at the start of the tour, Gates told members of the 800-soldier unit. "You came into an...

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