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Senate vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as new US Defence Secretary

The Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the US Defence secretary. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The US Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the country's next Defence Secretary.

Four Republicans joined the Democrats in backing President Barack Obama's nominee in Tuesday's 58-41 vote.

Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran, will succeed Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.