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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Tuesday that a decision to classify key data on the Afghan war was a " human error in labeling" after a watchdog report criticized the move as limiting public accountability in the 16-year-old conflict.

"It was NOT the intent of Resolute Support to withhold or classify information which was available in prior reports," Captain Tom Gresback, a U.S. military spokesman for the Resolute Support coalition in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

"A human error in labeling occurred... The data is not classified and there was no intent to withhold it unnecessarily," Gresback added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil StewartEditing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Reuters