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Descendants of Armenian victims of genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks can sue insurance companies for unpaid claims over the atrocities, in a rare reversal by a federal appeals court.

The same three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in August 2009 that lawsuits were barred by a federal government policy against legal reference to the Armenian genocide despite laws in California and 41 other states recognizing the massacre of 1.2 million Armenians that began in 1915 amid the chaotic collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

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