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Petraeus scandal widens to US Afghanistan general

The scandal surrounding former CIA chief David Petraeus' extramarital affair has widened to include top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen. A Pentagon source cited "inappropriate communications."

The top US commander in Afghanistan, General Allen, was under investigation over alleged "inappropriate" emails sent to the woman whose actions brought Petraeus' extramarital affair to light, a Pentagon source said on Tuesday.

Petraeus resigned over an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, last week.

The affair was uncovered when Jill Kelley alerted the FBI about threatening emails earlier this year. The source of the messages was eventually traced to Broadwell and, as emails between her and the ex-CIA director were revealed, so was the affair.

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Petraeus sex scandal widens

The anonymous official said on Tuesday that the FBI had uncovered 30,000 pages of correspondence between Allen and Kelley.

"We are concerned about inappropriate communications. We are not going to speculate as to what is contained in these documents," the source was reported as saying by the Reuters news agency.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday he had ordered a Pentagon investigation of Allen, who heads the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, after being informed about developments by the FBI over the weekend.

Panetta said he had requested to delay Allen's forthcoming nomination to become NATO's Supreme Allied Commander and the head of American forces in Europe, adding that President Barack Obama agreed with the decision.

"While the matter is under investigation and before the facts are determined, General Allen will remain commander of ISAF," Panetta said.

Kelley has been identified as a volunteer social liaison with with military families in Florida, as well as a long-standing Petraeus family friend.

rc/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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