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White House reviewing policy on military suicide letters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is reviewing a policy in which the president does not send letters of condolence to families of military personnel who commit suicide, the White House said on Wednesday.

"That review is ongoing," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told a briefing. "Hopefully, we can ... conclude this review shortly."

The president currently writes letters of condolence to men and women who are killed during their service to the U.S. armed forces, but suicides are not covered.

Suicides in the U.S. Army will hit a new high this year, a top general said in November, shortly before President Barack Obama announced his decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Sandra Maler)