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Twitter storm over Obama's visit to Afghanistan

Kabul, Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

Kabul, May 2 (ANI): Secrecy around U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Afghanistan was broken after continual chatter on Twitter about his visit.

Afghanistan's TOLO News, the country's leading television news station, was the first to tweet that Obama had arrived in Kabul to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, news.com.au reports.

The world's major news groups kept their knowledge of the trip secret because of the normal security conditions attached with such trips.

But after the first tweet, the unfettered Twitter took wing, with guesses winning over any facts.

As the website ran hot with speculation in the early hours of the evening, Afghanistan time, the US embassy in Kabul Tweeted: "Reports that President Obama is in Kabul are false."

US embassy spokesmen failed to answer their phones as they rang off the hook, although some Tweets quoted a palace source saying that the reports of Obama's visit were "wrong".

The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also tweeted that "contrary to some media reports, ISAF has NOT confirmed Obama visit; we are not in position to do so".

Confusion on the website was compounded by reports that Karzai's spokesman had dismissed reports that Obama was in Kabul, suggesting that perhaps the fuss had been sparked by a visit of a group of US senators.

Then the news wires finally broke the story: Obama was in Afghanistan to sign a strategic partnership deal with Karzai covering relations after the 130,000 US-led troops leave the country by the end of 2014.

The US embassy's final tweet said: "Our previous tweet that Obama was not in Afghanistan was true; he has since arrived to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement". (ANI)


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