Bullet Blew bin Laden’s Skull Apart

Al-Qaeda leader had lived in Abbottabad compound for 5 to 6 years
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 8:42 AM CDT
Bullet Blew bin Laden’s Skull Apart
Local people and media gather outside the perimeter wall and sealed gate into the compound and a house where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed late Monday.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

(Newser) – The scene is shaping up to be a gruesome one: As reported earlier, Osama bin Laden was shot above his left eye, but a US official adds that the bullet blew away part of his skull, and that a second bullet hit him in the chest, reports CBS News. The White House has also been backtracking on two previously reported details, adding to the confusion: A senior official now tells journalists that bin Laden was not armed when he was killed, contrary to earlier reports that he fired a weapon in self-defense. And as for the wife-as-human-shield story, a second official says that "a different guy’s wife was killed," and that a bin Laden wife was "injured but not killed."

Another official seems to support that statement, reports Politico, saying that one woman was killed, one was injured, and neither was used as a shield. And one new detail that wasn't given anonymously: White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan today said that bin Laden lived in the Abbottabad compound for the past five or six years, reports Reuters. "He had virtually no interaction with others outside that compound." And that raises questions, he says. "How did bin Laden stay at that compound for the past six years or so and be undetected? What type of support did he have outside of that compound—in the Abbottabad area or more broadly within Pakistan?" (Pakistan's president tries to clear up his country's role.)

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