Details of operation to kill bin Laden
US media and NHK have disclosed details about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the international terrorist network Al Qaeda.
US Navy SEALs started the mission on Monday morning. The special unit of about 30 troops arrived at a compound where bin Laden was hiding in 2 helicopters. It was surrounded by walls as high as more than 5 meters.
A nearby resident told NHK he heard an explosion and the sound of the helicopters’ blades rotating. He went upstairs in his house and saw the aircraft approaching, and then heard gunshots.
Another resident said he also heard a big explosion at around 1 AM. He said gunshots and other blasts were heard intermittently after that.
The troops first entered the smaller of the compound’s 2 buildings, where they believed bin Laden’s caretaker lived.
The unit then raided a three-story building, believed to be home to bin Laden and his family. The bin Ladens reportedly used the second and third floors as their living space. Walls of about 2-meters high surrounded the veranda on the third floor, so the inside could not be seen.
After going room to room, the troops finally found bin Laden on the third floor. When they called on him to surrender, bin Laden took out a weapon and fought back.
The Navy SEALs opened fire, hitting bin Laden in the head and the chest, killing him on the spot. A woman who was in the room was also killed in the shooting. The troops then took bin Laden’s body to a helicopter.
The raid took 40 minutes. It was reported in real time to the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama was watching the developments with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other high-ranking officials.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 02:12 +0900 (JST)