NATO chief says Wikileaks papers may endanger forces

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NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned Friday the release by Wikileaks of a huge cache of classfied Afghan war documents may endanger the safety of international and Afghan troops.

WikiLeaks has released about 77,000 leaked US military documents about the war and has plans to release about 15,000 more despite criticism that it may place at risk informants and others who are identified.

"I find it very unfortunate to publish confidential papers that might also compromise the security of our own forces and of Afghan citizens cooperating with their own government and with the international troops," Rasmussen told a joint news conference after talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing an investigation by Swedish prosecutors over rape allegations.

Assange, 39, has said the allegations are part of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting the whistleblowing website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon over the release of the Afghan war documents.

The United States and NATO have 150,000 troops in Afghanistan aiming to quell the insurgency that began soon after the Taliban regime was overthrown in a US-led invasion in late 2001.

© 2010 AFP

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