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If you read enough stories of war and mayhem, your eyes tend to roll along from start to finish (assuming you get that far). But every once in awhile you’re stopped cold by a sentence, like this one. What brings you up short is that it surfaces without warning in the middle of a pretty positive story, kind of a reader’s IED. This one appears in a dispatch from Sangin, in southern Afghanistan, on the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post. It’s from a story by the paper’s ace war correspondent, Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

More than 40 Marines have been killed in Sangin in the past nine months, and three dozen more have lost both legs.

Both. Damn.