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WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The Democratic front-runner for president goes before the panel Thursday with newfound political strength. A potential rival for the nomination, Vice President Joe Biden, announced Wednesday he will not jump into the presidential race.

Even so, Clinton faces a formidable challenge, as she tries to explain security lapses at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi while she was secretary of state.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2012 killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Clinton also is certain to face questions about her use of a private email account and server for government business.

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