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Thousands of Troops' Iraq Tour Extended

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says about 20,000 U.S. troops will stay in Iraq three months longer than had been expected. The Pentagon says the soldiers -- a quarter of whom serve in National Guard and military reserve units -- are needed to cope with renewed fighting in Iraq. The troops had been told they would return home this month, part of a Pentagon promise that Iraq duty would be for 12 months only. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.

Copyright 2004 NPR

Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.
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