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Senator Clinton Criticizes Lack of Body Armor for US Troops in Iraq


U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton is calling for an investigation into reports that more body armor could have prevented the deaths of some American soldiers and Marines in Iraq.

The Democratic lawmaker from New York criticized the Bush administration in letters Monday, including one to Republican Senator John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Recent press reports say a Pentagon study not yet made public found at least 74 of 93 American Marines killed in Iraq might have survived if they had armor that provided more coverage of their torso than the current armor.

The reports said the Pentagon declined the additional protection because of weight and movement concerns.

Clinton called the reports "disturbing," and said the number of troops that could have been saved would total in the hundreds after factoring in the other armed services. She said the additional armor would cost approximately $260 for each person.

An Army spokesman said improvements have been made in body armor, and the Army continues to develop protection equipment for the soldiers.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.