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The Pentagon says it is asking the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, to immediately hand over about 15 thousand secret Afghan war records it hasn't yet published, and erase material it has already put online.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell says the only rightful owner of all the classified material is the US government.
And the leak, one of the largest in US military history, has put US troops and Afghan informants at risk.
But Morrell declined to give specifics on whether the Defense Department will take legal action against WikiLeaks if it refused to comply with the demand. He says it is up to the FBI and Justice Department to decide how to proceed.