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CASUALTY COUNT

At hearing, Wolfowitz falls short

WASHINGTON -- Asked how many American troops have died in Iraq, the Pentagon's No. 2 civilian estimated yesterday the total was about 500 -- more than 200 soldiers short.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was asked about the toll at a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. "It's approximately 500, of which . . . approximately 350 are combat deaths," he responded.

"He misspoke," spokesman Charley Cooper said later. "That's all."

Since the invasion of Iraq last year, 722 US troops have died there, 521 of them in combat.

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