WASHINGTON — The FBI says 56 law enforcement officers were slain in the line of duty last year, 72 officers died in accidents and 53,469 officers were assaulted in the line of duty.

The 56 deaths rose by eight compared with the 2009 figure of 48 officers.

In the 56 slayings, 15 officers were ambushed, 14 were involved in arrests and eight were investigating suspects or suspicious circumstances at the time of their deaths.

Twenty-two of the slayings occurred in the South, 18 in the West, 10 in the Midwest, and three were in the Northeast. Three slayings took place in Puerto Rico.

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