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May 2, 2011 – The hunt for Osama bin Laden is over. The al Qaeda leader was killed in a U.S. raid Monday at a compound in Pakistan. President Barack Obama revealed the death of bin Laden in a televised announcement, saying, “justice has been done.”
The operation to get the terrorist leader was approved by the president Friday. Bin Laden’s exact location near Islamabad had been suspected for several months. Once the final order was given, a small Navy Seal strike unit was flown by helicopter to the mansion bin Laden occupied in an affluent neighborhood. A 40-minute gun battle ensued. One U.S. official said it was a “kill mission,” and early indications are that bin Laden and three companions fought back before being shot dead. A woman who was being used as a human shield was also killed.
Following visual identification, bin Laden’s body was taken from the scene and eventually buried at sea. Subsequent DNA tests confirmed the identification.
Western leaders hailed the death of the 9/11 mastermind, but also cautioned against reprisals from the terrorist network he led. The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for citizens going overseas.
Pakistani officials were told of the raid only after it had been completed, which could increase the already high level of tension between the two allies. The fact that bin Laden had been living only blocks from a military training facility may cause a certain level of embarrassment for the Pakistanis, who have been conducting their own manhunt.
Tom Lambert – WorldNewsVine