Abbottabad /Washington – Senior Pakistani security officials said Osama bin Laden’s daughter had confirmed her father was captured alive and shot dead by the US Special Forces during the first few minutes of the operation carried out at the huge compound in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, Al Arabiya reports.
Besides recovering four bullet-riddled bodies from the compound, Pakistani security agencies also arrested two women and six children, aged between 2 and 12 years, after American forces flew toward Afghanistan. Some reports suggest 16 people, including women and children, were arrested from the house, most of them Arab nationals.
A Pakistani security source told Al Arabiya that Bin Laden family members had been transported to Rawalpindi, which is near Islamabad. He added, “They are now under treatment in the military hospital of Rawalpindi, where they have been transported in a helicopter.” A source told Al Arabiya that Bin Laden’s wife had been injured either in her leg or her shoulder.
He added that the members of the household were children and Bin Laden’s wife, in addition to a Yemeni woman. He added that the woman might be the personal doctor of the family. Bin Laden was known to be afflicted with renal failure.
Sources speculated that US Forces could not arrest these family members because there weren’t enough places for them in the helicopter, after they lost another chopper during the operation.
About the slain woman: officials said she could either be Bin Laden’s wife or a close family member since she offered to sacrifice her life for him. “As per our information, she shielded Bin Laden during the operation and was killed by American commandos,” an official said. The US Special Forces only took two bodies with them in the military chopper; one is said to be Bin Laden’s and the other his son’s. By the time Pakistani security agencies and soldiers arrived at the spot, the US commandos were flying over the mountains in the Pakistani tribal belt, well on their way to Afghanistan.
Sources said one of the two women taken into custody from the compound by Pakistani forces was one of Osama bin Laden’s several wives. “She is Yemeni and became unconscious during the operation,” said an official. Pleading anonymity, he said the woman was provided necessary medical aid till she became conscious.
“During preliminary investigations, the lady said they moved to the Abbottabad house five to six months ago,” the Pakistani official said, adding that she did not provide further information about bin Laden or his shifting to the house. The official said a 12-year-old daughter of bin Laden was among the six children rescued from the three-storey compound.
The daughter has reportedly told her Pakistani investigators that the US forces captured her father alive but shot him dead in front of family members. According to sources, Bin Laden was staying on the ground floor of the house and was dragged on the floor to the helicopter after being shot dead by US commandos.
The Pakistan Army has sealed two main entrances of the house and deployed military and police for its protection.
For Obama, big rise in poll numbers after Bin Laden raid
Support for President Obama has risen sharply following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American military forces in Pakistan, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.
But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding: more than six in 10 Americans said that killing Bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the United States in the short term.
President George W. Bush not joining Obama at ground zero thursday
President George W. Bush declined an invitation from the White House to join President Obama in a visit to Ground Zero Thursday, abcnews reports. “President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday. He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror,” according to a statement released by Bush spokesman David Sherzer late Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “the invitation was last minute, of course, and we completely understand that he is not able to attend.”
Obama will visit the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan Thursday to meet with the families of 9/11 victims, four days after bin Laden was captured and killed by Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
CIA says release of osama Bin Laden’s photo likely
CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday he thinks a photograph of Osama bin Laden’s body will be released at some point, but that it is up to the White House to make the final call, CNN informs.
A senior administration official said that no decision has been made yet as to whether to release the photo.
“I just think it’s important, they know we have it, to release it,” Panetta said. He did not know when the photograph might be made public.