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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.

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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.

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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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