AT least 12 US Secret Service agents tasked with protecting President Barack Obama during his trip to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas have been sent home amid allegations of misconduct.
A senior law enforcement official told FOX News Channel that at least a dozen agents were recalled from Colombia because of allegations involving prostitution.
The official said the situation was so serious that diplomats were brought in to mediate and the agency was forced to rush in a new group of agents to cover those sent home.
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association president Jon Adler told The Washington Post the accusations include at least one agent being involved with a prostitute in Cartagena, where the President arrived today.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan declined to confirm what the allegations involved, but said in a statement that "the Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously" and the incident was being investigated by the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility.
Mr Donovan did not specify how many agents were involved, nor how many had been recalled from Colombia.
"These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President's trip," his statement said.
The Post said it was alerted to the misconduct by journalist Ronald Kessler, who has written a book on the Secret Service. Mr Kessler said soliciting prostitutes is legal in Colombia, but was considered inappropriate by the Secret Service.
Mr Obama flew into Cartagena today for the Americas summit, which is set to be attended by leaders from throughout the region.
News of the alleged misconduct emerged as two small bombs exploded in Cartagena this morning. No injuries were reported from the explosions, which occurred around 8pm Friday local time, newspaper El Tiempo reported.
Two small bombs also exploded in the country's capital, Bogota, this morning -- near the US Embassy and the country's high court and attorney general's office. No one was injured.
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