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Merkel says defeat in state election "hurts"

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BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed regret on Monday over her party's narrow loss in a state election in Lower Saxony that pushed her popular protege David McAllister from office.

"I'm not going to pretend, after all the feelings generated by this election, defeat hurts even more," Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin. "We are all sad today. Sad that it didn't work."

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