A woman killed during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was not his wife and was not used as a human shield by the al Qaeda leader before his death, a U.S. official said on Monday, correcting an earlier description.
John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counter- terrorism adviser, told reporters earlier that the slain woman had been one of bin Laden’s wives and had been used — perhaps voluntarily — as a shield during the firefight.
However, a different White House official said that account had turned out not to be the case. Bin Laden’s wife was injured but not killed in the assault.
U.S. officials have said a small U.S. strike team, dropped by helicopter to bin Laden’s hide-out near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad under cover of night, shot the al Qaeda leader dead with bullets to the chest and head. He did not return fire.