15 Apr 2012

US secret service agents recalled

12:55 pm on 15 April 2012

Secret agents charged with protecting the United States President Barack Obama during a summit in Colombia have instead embarrassed him by getting caught apparently trying to party with prostitutes.

Police in the resort city of Cartagena say at least one member of the Secret Service tried to take a prostitute up to a hotel room without registering her.

The Secret Service says it has put 11 agents on administrative leave while it investigates and has apologized for the distraction the incident had caused.

The White House says Mr Obama has been briefed on the matter

It was the main topic of conversation among diplomats behind the scenes of the Summit of the Americas, adding an unwelcome twist to Mr Obama's efforts to win back a region where US influence is steadily waning.

President Obama arrived on Friday to attend the summit of more than 30 leaders which will involve talks on economic policy and trade. He was staying until Sunday.