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US to allow women on the frontline

World

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military's ban on women serving in combat, a move that could open thousands of frontline warfighting jobs to female service members, a senior US defence official said.

Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, "are expected to announce the lifting of the direct combat exclusion rule for women in the military," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Wednesday.

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In this September 18, 2012 file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range while testing new body armor in Fort Campbell in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington.

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