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General Petraeus collapses at Afghan meeting

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 15 June 2010

Top US General David Petraeus, who oversees the war in Afghanistan, is "doing well" after collapsing at a congressional hearing.

General David Petraeus is led away after collapsing

General Petraeus, a prostate cancer survivor, briefly fainted and slumped onto his desk an hour into a hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In what one observer called "a frightening moment," Petraeus suddenly slumped face-forward on the large desk where he sat to give testimony. Aides rushed to his side and gently escorted him into a private room for checks by a military doctor.

Petraeus later blamed dehydration and skipping breakfast for the incident - and joked it wasn't tough questioning from the likes of Senator John McCain, the panel's senior Republican, that triggered his fainting spell.

On a visit to London last week the general praised the UK effort in Afghanistan urging that the coalition was crucial to victory.

During the hearing top US lawmakers voiced concern about the President Barack Obama's strategy in the country. McCain, who ran against Democrat Obama in the 2008 presidential election, called Petraeus a hero but warned that the Afghan campaign could be heading toward a "crisis".

"I am deeply concerned about our campaign in Afghanistan," said McCain, who supported Obama's surge of 30,000 additional US forces announced in December.

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