onlineredaktion – Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.
The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.
None of the men looked like bin Laden. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool, the White House said on Wednesday.
Based on the time-stamps on the pictures, the earliest one was dated May 2, 2:30 a.m., approximately an hour after the completion of the raid in which bin Laden was killed.
Other photos, taken hours later at between 5:21 a.m. and 6:43 a.m. show the outside of the trash-strewn compound and the wreckage of the helicopter the United States abandoned. The tail assembly is unusual, and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability.
Reuters is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because details in the photos appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday.
Reuters published then withdrew the top three photos below as part of a series of eight.