Osama was unarmed but killed as he resisted, says US (Lead)

May 4th, 2011 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, May 4 (IANS) Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was unarmed but killed because he resisted the American forces that stormed his hideout in Pakistan.

Giving a most detailed account of how the world’s most wanted terrorist was killed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also said that his wife was not killed but shot in the leg.

US commandos flew into Pakistan’s Abbottabad city post midnight Sunday in two helicopters — the spokesman did not say from where — on the orders of President Barack Obama to “capture or kill bin Laden”.

“The team methodically cleared the compound, moving from room to room in an operation lasting nearly 40 minutes.

“They were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation, and bin Laden was killed by the assaulting force.”

Carney said that two other families, besides Osama’s, lived in the spacious and supposedly secure mansion that was located not far from a key Pakistani military academy.

One of the other two families lived on the first floor and another in a second building in the compound.

“One (team) began the operation on the first floor of the bin Laden house and worked their way to the third floor. A second team cleared the separate building.

“On the first floor of bin Laden’s building, two Al Qaeda couriers were killed, along with a woman who was killed in crossfire.

“Bin Laden and his family were found on the second and third floor of the building.

“There was concern that bin Laden would oppose the capture operation — operation rather, and, indeed, he did resist.

“In the room with bin Laden, a woman — rather bin Laden’s wife — rushed (to) the US assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed.

“Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.”

Journalists sought to know how Osama was resisting if he didn’t have a gun.

Carney: “I think resistance does not require a firearm.”

Carney was also asked why the US forces did not capture Osama.

“We were prepared to capture him if that was possible. We expected a great deal of resistance and were met with a great deal of resistance.”

Journalist: “But he wasn’t armed?”

Carney: “But there were many other people who were armed in the compound. There was a firefight.”

Pressed again, the spokesman said: “US personnel on the ground handled themselves with the utmost professionalism and he was killed in an operation because of the resistance they met.”

Carney was asked if both the bullets which killed Osama were fired by one American soldier.

“I don’t have a detail on the shots and who fired them.”

Carney was also asked to explain how could there have been “a real gun battle” since 17 of the 22 or so people in the mansion were noncombatants — women and children.

Carney: “But there was a firefight.”

Carney said that after the firefight, the noncombatants were moved to a safe location as one of the helicopters that got damaged was detonated.

“The team departed the scene via helicopter to the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea.

“Aboard the USS Carl Vinson, the burial of bin Laden was done in conformance with Islamic precepts and practices.

“The deceased’s body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag; a military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker.

“After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up and the deceased body eased into the sea.”

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