US Navy SEALs practised with Osama house replica for May raid

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Osama bin Laden
New York, Aug 2: US commandos, who killed Osama bin Laden in a covert operation on May 2 in Pakistan, had been practising along with a Belgian Malinois dog for the D-Day for nearly a month with a replica of the al-Qaeda leader's Abbottabad compound.

A team of two dozen navy SEALs from Red Squadron were asked to report to a densely forested site in North Carolina for a training exercise on April 10.

Red Squadron is one of four squadrons in DEVGRU (Naval Special Warfare Development Group), which has about 300 operators.

None of the SEALs, barring two, were aware of the CIA intelligence on bin Laden''s compound till a particular date.

A replica of the compound had been built at the site, with walls and chain-link fencing marking the layout of the compound. The team spent the next five days practising maneuvers, the New Yorker magazine said in its latest issue bringing into light new aspects of the entire operation, which was codenamed Operation Neptune's Spear.

"On April 18th, the DEVGRU squad flew to Nevada for another week of rehearsals. The practice site was a large government-owned stretch of desert with an elevation equivalent to the area surrounding Abbottabad.

"An extant building served as bin Laden's house. Aircrews plotted out a path that paralleled the flight from Jalalabad to Abbottabad. Each night after sundown, drills commenced," the report said. 

PTI

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