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US Attorney General Holder discharged from hospital after feeling faint, short of breath

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Holder said state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same sex-marriage if they don't believe in them. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Holder said state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same sex-marriage if they don't believe in them. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder was hospitalized for several hours Thursday after experiencing faintness and shortness of breath at work, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Holder was taken to a Washington hospital as a precaution after feeling the symptoms during a regular morning meeting with senior staff. A department statement described him as alert and communicating with his doctors during his hospital stay.

He was discharged later in the day and sent home to rest, his office said.

Holder, a trim 63-year-old, is known inside the department for bypassing the elevator and taking the stairs at a brisk pace to reach his 5th-floor office. He also plays basketball.

The White House says President Barack Obama was notified and wished Holder a "speedy recovery."

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