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05:04, 29 May 2017 Monday
Update: 13:49, 14 April 2012 Saturday

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CIA agents recalled from Colombia, misconduct alleged
CIA agents recalled from Colombia, misconduct alleged

The U.S. Secret Service has recalled a number of agents from Colombia, where President Barack Obama is attending a summit with Latin American leaders

The U.S. Secret Service has recalled a number of agents from Colombia, where President Barack Obama is attending a summit with Latin American leaders, because of alleged misconduct, a spokesman said on Friday.

"There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia, prior to the president's trip," an agency spokesman, Edwin Donovan, said in a statement.

"Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel."

The spokesman said the matter had been turned over to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility.

"These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president's trip," Donovan said. "The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously."

The Washington Post reported that a dozen agents had been recalled and that at least one agent had been accused of involvement with prostitutes.

Donovan declined to comment on the number of agents involved or nature of the allegations.

Obama arrived in Colombia for the summit on Friday.

Reuters



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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.