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Osama Bin Laden Not Armed During U.S. Assault: White House

05/03/2011 04:29 pm ET | Updated Jul 03, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was not armed when U.S. special forces stormed his compound in Pakistan but he did resist before he was shot, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

Carney said bin Laden's wife "rushed the U.S. assaulter" and was shot in the leg but not killed, contrary to what a White House official said on Monday.

Carney declined to offer further details on bin Laden's behavior during the raid. Resistance did not require a firearm, he said.

U.S. forces faced a firefight throughout the 40-minute raid. "We expected a great deal of resistance and were met with a great deal of resistance. There were many other people who were armed in the compound," Carney said.

The killing of bin Laden was not likely to affect the U.S. timetable for bringing American troops out of Afghanistan, Carney said, adding that the goal of starting a drawdown in July remained.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Caren Bohan, editing by Sandra Maler)

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