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Monday, May 2, 2011

Helicopters Central to Bin Laden Raid

A small U.S. Special Ops team, including CIA and Navy SEALs using Boeing Chinooks and Sikorsky Black Hawks, assaulted a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday, killing Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Reports indicate that one helicopter experienced a mechanical failure resulting in a hard landing, with no injuries to U.S. personnel, who destroyed the aircraft before departing. A senior White House official confirmed that early Sunday afternoon, “a small U.S. team conducted a helicopter raid on the compound. Considerable planning helped prepare our operators for this very complex mission.” He went on to say that during the raid, “we lost one helicopter due to mechanical failure. The aircraft was destroyed by the crew and the assault force and crew members boarded the remaining aircraft to exit the compound. All non-combatants were moved safely away from the compound before the detonation.” Responding to questions from reporters, another official added that the administration wouldn’t get into details regarding the type of mechanical failure that was involved, adding that, “we didn’t say it was mechanical.”
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