WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the detainee abuse photos he wants to block from release are "not particularly sensational" and would do no good if published.

He says he will not tolerate abuse of prisoners.

But he also says he directed his legal team to fight the court-ordered release of the photos because he was concerned about how they might affect the safety of U.S. troops.

Obama's statement from the South Lawn of the White House comes not long after his decision to fight in court to block the photos' release was made public by aides.