Obama honour remains of slain troops, media barred from event

President Barack Obama
Washington, Aug 10: President Barack Obama on Tuesday made an unannounced visit to Delaware air base to honour remains of 30 elite US troops killed in Afghanistan chopper crash, even as Pentagon did not allow the media to cover the event as there were "no identifiable remains" of the dead soldiers.

Obama made the visit after two C-17 military aircraft landed carrying remains of those killed in Afghanistan on a special forces mission on Saturday. The incident is the deadliest single loss for US in the war against Taliban.

Given the nature of the attack, there were "no identifiable remains" of the 30 troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, Pentagon spokesman Marine Col David Lapan told reporters. Therefore, he said, the media would not be allowed to cover the event.

Initial reports from the White House and the Pentagon said that Obama was expected to remain there for several hours till the ceremony of "dignified transfer" of these American soldiers were over.

Besides Obama, top Pentagon leadership were present at the ceremony include, Secretary of Defence, Leon E Panetta, Under Secretary of Defence for Intelligence Affairs, Michael Vickers and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

The entire media was blocked from covering the event, which is seen as a national tragedy.

Even the White House pool, which travels with the President and covers every events of his, though did travel with him to Dover but was kept away from the actual ceremony.

"Media were ushered into a small auditorium to wait, as POTUS (President Of The United States), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and other senior staff were whisked away in a convoy of black automobiles." 


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