Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout, in which the al-Qaeda leader was killed, was “not an assassination”.

Mr Holder told the BBC the operation was a “kill or capture mission” and that Bin Laden’s surrender would have been accepted if offered.

The protection of the Navy Seals who carried out the raid was “uppermost in our minds”, he added.

Bin Laden was shot dead on 2 May in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Mr Holder said the special forces had acted “in an appropriate way” in the absence of any clear indication Bin Laden had been going to surrender.

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