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US says draft holdouts cut to about half a million

Some 880,000 young men registered for the draft during the grace period that ended Feb. 28, leaving slightly more than half a million men in violation of the law, selective service head Thomas Turnage said.

He told a House Armed Services subcommittee the rate of compliance with the law is 93.6 percent and a total of 7,792,000 young men have registered. The estimated number of nonregistrants is 535,000, he said. Those born in 1963 form the largest group of violators.

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The Justice Department said that by this summer grand juries could begin returning indictments against those who failed to register.

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