Photos show some killed in bin Laden raid

This image obtained by Reuters shows wreckage of the U.S. helicopter that crashed within the compound and was later destroyed by U.S. forces before they left the compound Reuters

This image obtained by Reuters shows the helicopter that crashed within the compound and was later destroyed by U.S. forces before they left the compound
This image obtained by Reuters shows wreckage of the U.S. helicopter that crashed within the compound and was later destroyed by U.S. forces before they left the compound.
Reuters

President Barack Obama has announced that the photos taken by American forces of Osama bin Laden's dead body will not be released publicly.

However the international news agency Reuters has released photos taken on the ground in Pakistan of what appear to be the compound where Navy SEALs engaged in a bloody firefight before killing Osama bin Laden.

Reuters reports that the photos were taken about an hour after the assault on bin Laden's compound in Abottabad, Pakistan.

View the Reuters photos: Warning, graphic content

In addition to scenes showing the tail assembly of a downed American helicopter, which Reuters claims indicates some kind of previously unknown stealth capability, they show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.

Reuters says a Pakistani security official took the pictures, and sold them to the news organization.

Reuters said they are "confident of the authenticity of the purchased images."

At 1:30 a.m. Pakistan time on Monday morning, two Blackhawk helicopters carrying 25 Navy SEALs, and two support Chinook helicopters with a back-up force and extra fuel for mid-air refueling took off from an American air base in Afghanistan bound for bin Laden's compound.

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The SEALs planned to fast rope onto the roof of the main building right over bin Laden's head while the second helicopter dropped its SEALs into the courtyard.

But the second helicopter lost lift and had to land, clipping its tail rotor on a wall. That forced the first helicopter to change plans and land its SEALs on the ground. They now had to blast their way through walls, losing precious minutes and the element of surprise.

The SEALs cleared the smaller building first, killing the courier and his brother. They then moved to the main building where bin Laden and his family lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Bin Laden's son was killed and so was a woman when the men tried to use her as a human shield.

As the SEALs swept through the massive compound, they handcuffed those they encountered with plastic zip ties and pressed on in pursuit of their target. In all, U.S. forces found 23 children, nine women, a bin Laden courier who had unwittingly led the U.S. to its target, a son of bin Laden who was also slain, and more.

The SEALs were shooting their way up the stairs to bin Laden's bedroom. Finally, McRaven reported "Geronimo E-KIA," Geronimo -- code name for bin Laden -- E-KIA -- enemy killed in action.

In addition to bin Laden, one of his sons was killed in the raid. Bin Laden's wife was shot in the calf but survived, a U.S. official said. Also killed were the courier, and the courier's wife and brother, U.S. intelligence officials believe.

Some people found at the compound were left behind when the SEALs withdrew and were turned over to Pakistani authorities who quickly took over control of the site, officials said. They identified the trusted courier as Kuwaiti-born Sheikh Abu Ahmed, who had been known under the name Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

When a SEAL burst into that third floor bedroom, bin Laden's wife rushed at him, so he shot her in the leg. That left bin Laden, standing right in front of him. Bin Laden was unarmed, but the SEAL thought he was still a threat, so he shot him twice, killing him with a precise shot above his left eye. He was also shot in the chest.

U.S. officials say the photographic evidence shows bin Laden was shot above his left eye, blowing away part of his skull.

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