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The Boston Globe


Hagel optimistic on Afghan agreement

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he believes American officials will be able to work things out with Afghan leaders who have ordered special operations forces out of Wardak province.

Hagel’s is on his first trip to Afghanistan as defense secretary. On his first morning in Kabul on Saturday, two suicide bombings, one outside the Afghan Defense Ministry and the other near a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province, killed at least 19 people, including a U.S. contractor. A Taliban spokesman says the blast outside the defense ministry was a message to the visiting Pentagon chief.

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