WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden tried to hide behind a woman as U.S. special forces attacked his compound in Pakistan early yesterday, and she died being used as a human shield, the White House said.
The U.S. counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, also told reporters that it had not yet been determined if a photograph of bin Laden's corpse would be released to the media.
Special forces set out to kill Osama bin Laden and dump his body in the sea to make it harder for the al Qaeda founder to become a martyr, U.S. national security officials said last night.
“This was a kill operation,” one said.
“If he had waved a white flag of surrender, he would have been taken alive,” the official added. But the operating assumption among the U.S. raiders was that bin Laden would put up a fight — which he did, “participating” in a firefight between the U.S. commandos and residents of the fortified mansion near the Pakistani capital Islamabad where he had been hiding
Three other men and a woman, who U.S. officials said was used as a human shield, lay dead after the raid. No Americans were killed.