Image of dead bin Laden fake: Pakistani TV

AFP , Monday 2 May 2011

"Unverified" picture of bin Laden aired today on Pakistani TV withdrawn for being fake

Pakistani television stations on Monday withdrew an image broadcast of the purported body of Osama bin Laden after his killing not far from Islamabad overnight, saying the picture was a fake.

Several private channels showed what they called an "unverified" picture of bin Laden's bloodied face after the United States said he had been killed.

"It was a fake picture, it was on the Internet in 2009," Rana Jawad, Islamabad bureau chief of Geo television, told AFP.

"When we checked we found it was fake and we pulled it out," he said.

Pakistani channels earlier showed the image of a face sporting a bushy and black beard with less of the white or grey hair detected in the most recent video footage of bin Laden when he was alive.

There were extensive blood stains on the forehead and left temple. The right eye was shut but the white of the left eye was visible.

Television also broadcast footage of flames rising from a compound in Abbottabad overnight and footage after daybreak of armed Pakistani forces standing guard at the building where bin Laden was reportedly killed.

The compound is in Bilal Town, in the suburbs of Abbottabad, which is about 50 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

One local resident told AFP that he heard helicopters circling overhead before heavy gunfire erupted between midnight Sunday (1900 GMT) and 1:00 am on Monday (2000 GMT Sunday).

"People were sleeping. I heard helicopters roaring in the sky," the man told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was worried about security.

"I woke up and then heavy firing started. It was severe. It continued for quite some time, then I heard a heavy explosion. It was huge. People woke up and came out of their houses. We didn't know what was going on."

"We heard ambulance sirens and security people shouting. We saw flames coming out of one place. Everybody is scared. I am afraid.

"Today I heard from the TV about Osama's death. I haven't sent my children to school. Police and other security people have cordoned off the whole area and we are not allowed to go out," the resident added.

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