On this day in 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert operation by US Navy seals

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WASHINGTON — It has been more than a decade since former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert operation by a team of US Navy Seals in Pakistan.

In the early morning hours of May 2, 2011, a group of 25 Navy Seals raided the compound of Abbottabad, the city where bin Laden was hiding.

The Abbottabad complex was located near a narrow dirt road and was exceptionally larger than other residences in the locality, however, there were no connections.

Officials began preparations for the operation as Washington learned of a high-value target. Former US President Obama chaired five national security meetings at the White House to discuss plans for the operation and ordered Navy Seals and the CIA to strike.

The leader of the international terror network was eliminated nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks and his death was seen as a strategic blow to the banned organization.

Then US President Barack Obama announced the development, saying the world’s most hunted man had been killed and “justice had been served”. Some officials claimed bin Laden fought off the ambush and was shot in the head.

Obama then called former president and PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari about the operation after it was launched. Shortly after the announcement, many American citizens rushed to the streets and celebrated the event, calling it a historic moment.

Many called Laden’s killing a watershed moment in the US battle against terrorism, while some questioned the former al-Qaeda leader’s secret burial and pointed to distorted facts in the operation. Laden’s supporters have also called him a martyr because he played a crucial role in the war in Afghanistan.

However, the former most wanted terrorist was more symbolically than operationally important, as he obstructed any meaningful leadership role while leading an extremist movement.

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