US Seals were told to avoid engaging Pak forces

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 14:43

Washington: The `Abbottabad operation`
against Osama bin Laden was planned till the last minute detail by the US intelligence and the American naval Seals had
been told to avoid chances of any engagement with Pakistani
forces.

And top White House officials heaved a huge sigh of
relief when the four US military helicopters were out of
Pakistan air space just in the nick of time as clueless
authorities in Islamabad were scrambling fighters to intercept
them.

"The Operation was designed to minimise the chances of
engagement with Pakistani forces," John Brennan, President
Barack Obama`s Advisor on Counter-terrorism said.

"It was done very well," he said, adding that no
Pakistani forces were engaged and there were no other
individuals who were killed except those inside the compound.

Brennan`s remarks came as other top US officials said
that latest intelligence reports indicated that the al Qaeda
chief had been living in the Abbottabad mansion for over six
years.

He said Pakistani were only contacted after "all our
people and aircraft were out of Pakistan airspace".
The US official said that at that time Pakistani`s had
begun reacting to the incidents that were taking place in
Abbottabad. "Therefore, they were scrambling some of their
assets."

"Clearly, we were concerned that if the Pakistanis
decided to scramble jets or whatever else -- they didn`t know
who was on those jets. They had no idea about who might have
been on there, whether it be US or somebody else," he said in
response to a question.
"So we were watching and making sure that our people
and our aircraft were able to get out of the Pakistani
airspace, and thankfully there was no engagement with
Pakistani forces," Brennan said.

US officials said in addition to bin Laden, one of his
sons Khalid was killed in the raid while his wife got a shot
in the calf, but survived.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 14:43

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