13 May 2011

Mini cameras taped bin Laden raid

10:58 pm on 13 May 2011

New details of the American raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan have emerged through footage recorded on the commandos' tiny helmet-mounted cameras.

The al Qaeda leader was killed during a raid by 25 US Navy SEALs in the northern Pakistani town of Abbottabad on 2 May.

United States officials who have seen images of the 40-minute operation say the only firefight took place outside the main compound building, where bin Laden's couriers opened fire and were shot dead, AFP reports.

Commandos then saw bin Laden for the first time after he appeared on a third-floor landing, and they fired and missed.

The al Qaeda leader was pursued into a bedroom, where one commando fired a round into his chest and another then shot him in the head.

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that US intelligence officers have interrogated three of bin Laden's wives. One says bin Laden lived in Pakistan for more than seven years.

Raid not an assassination mission - US

Osama Bin Laden's family has questioned why he was not captured alive but US Attorney-General Eric Holder says the raid was not an assassination mission.

Mr Holder told the BBC it was a ''kill or capture mission'' and the al Qaeda leader's surrender would have been accepted.

He reiterated that the operation was legal, saying that international law allows the targeting of enemy commanders.

Mr Holder said al Qaeda is still a threat to the US and its allies.

Meanwhile, US president Barack Obama's approval rating is at its highest in two years.

In a poll taken after the bin Laden's killing, 60% of Americans said Mr Obama deserves to be re-elected.