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Osama bin Laden's wife not killed in raid, White House says

MYT 8:30:46 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A woman killed during the U.S. 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.

Newspaper headlines and clippings are posted on a wall inside a staff office at the White House in Washington May 2, 2011, the morning after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

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.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Alister Bull; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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