Attorney General Eric Holder told skeptical Republican senators this week that he regretted the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in December 2010, but didn't acknowledge it was connected to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' botched Operation Fast and Furious.

"It pains me whenever there is the death of a law enforcement official, especially under the circumstances that this occurred," Holder said Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had asked if Holder "would like to apologize today for this program that went so wrong" that in Cornyn's view caused the death of the agent, Brian Terry. Two guns linked to Fast and Furious were found at the murder scene.

"It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that happened in Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry," Holder said.

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