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'Top spy' in Afghanistan revealed by White House error

The city of Kabul, Afghanistan. Credit: Reuters

The White House has accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email thousands of journalists during the president's surprise weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.

The officer's name - identified as "chief of station" in Kabul - was included by US embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Barack Obama during the Saturday visit.

The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.