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Published: Friday January 31, 2014 MYT 12:40:02 AM
Updated: Friday January 31, 2014 MYT 12:41:00 AM

US says 92 nuclear missile officers implicated in cheating

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said on Thursday a total of 92 missile launch officers have been implicated in a widening scandal over exam cheating, well beyond the initial 34 officers placed under investigation.

The officers have been taken off their missile wing duties as a result of their ties to the cheating, which took place in a key proficiency exam, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told a Pentagon news briefing.

The Air Force and the Pentagon have assured the nuclear mission and the weapons themselves remain safe. But James has cited the likelihood of a "systemic" problem among the officers who oversee America's nuclear missiles.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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