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Bin Laden died in house near Pakistan's capital

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Osama bin Laden was holed up in a two-story house 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy when four helicopters carrying U.S. anti-terror forces swooped in the early morning hours of Monday and killed him. Flames rose Monday ...

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Osama bin Laden was holed up in a two-story house 100

yards from a Pakistani military academy when four helicopters carrying

U.S. anti-terror forces swooped in the early morning hours of Monday and

killed him.

Flames rose Monday from the building that was the apparent target of the

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raid as it was confirmed that the world's most wanted fugitive died not

in a cave, but in a town best known as a garrison for the Pakistani

military. A U.S. official said one of bin Laden's sons was also killed

in the raid alone with three others, but the official did not name the

son or the others killed.

Pakistani officials and a witness said bin Laden's guards opened fire

from the roof of the building, and one of the choppers crashed. The

sound of at least two explosions rocked the small northwestern town of

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Abbottabad where the al-Qaida chief made his last stand. The U.S. said

no Americans were harmed in the raid.

Abbottabad is home to at least one regiment of the Pakistani army, is

dotted with military buildings and home to thousands of army personnel.

Surrounded by hills and with mountains in the distance, it is less than

half a days drive from the border region with Afghanistan, where most

intelligence assessments believed bin Laden was holed up.

The news he was killed in an army town in Pakistan will raise more

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pointed questions of how he managed to evade capture and whether

Pakistan's military and intelligence leadership knew of his whereabouts

and sheltered him. Critics have long accused elements of Pakistan's

security establishment of protecting bin Laden, though Islamabad has

always denied this.

Abbotabad resident Mohammad Haroon Rasheed said the raid happened about

1:15 a.m. local time.

"I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing

suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast," he said. "In

the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter

wreckage was lying in an open field."

He said the house was 100 meters (yards) away from the gate of the

academy.

A Pakistani official in the town said fighters on the roof opened fire

on the choppers as they came close to the building with rocket propelled

grenades. Another official said four helicopters took off from the Ghazi

air base in northwest Pakistan.

Last summer, the U.S. army was based in Ghazi to help out in the

aftermath of the floods.

Women and children were taken into custody during the raid, he said.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the

sensitivity of the information.

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