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Obama honours wounded soldier who battled Taleban insurgents

Published on Jul 22, 2014 6:30 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US soldier who fought off an "onslaught" of Afghan insurgents despite wounds to his arm and legs received the country's highest military honour on Monday at a White House ceremony.

Ryan Pitts, a retired US Army staff sergeant, was hailed by President Barack Obama for keeping a huge force of Taleban at bay in one of the bloodiest battles of the 13-year-war in Afghanistan.

"Machine gunfire and mortar and rocket propelled grenades poured down from every direction," said Mr Obama, recounting a Taleban ambush near the village of Wanat on July 19, 2008.

"Against that onslaught, one American held the line," Mr Obama said of Staff Sgt Pitts.

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