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President Obama will travel to Dover Air Force base later on Tuesday to honor the 22 Navy SEALs and eight other American troops killed in Afghanistan on Saturday when an insurgent shot down their helicopter, according to an administration official familiar with the matter.
Obama will head a delegation of senior administration, Pentagon, and military officials who will salute the flag-draped caskets of the troops who died in a rescue mission this weekend in the worst single-day loss of the long Afghan war. The crash in eastern Afghanistan also marked the largest death toll in the history of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees the SEALs and other elite units.
The Pentagon has ruled out media coverage of a ceremony marking the return of 30 US soldiers, including 22 Navy SEALs, who were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in was shot down in Afghanistan.
The return of the remains in flag draped coffins to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, possibly today, was denied media coverage because given the nature of the attack there were "no identifiable remains" of these servicemen, Pentagon spokesman Marine Col David Lapan told reporters during an off camera briefing.
Pentagon Press Association president Nancy Youssef said the organisation has protested the decision to ban media coverage and had sought to reverse the decision.