The United States would have taken Osama bin Laden alive if he had given himself up, an American official said on Monday after US special forces shot dead the al Qaeda leader in Pakistan.
"He resisted during the firefight. As a result, the operators on the ground killed him. They were prepared in the event of his surrender to take him alive," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
An elite team of US Navy Seals helicoptered into bin Laden's compound at Abbottabad, near Islamabad, overnight on Sunday, killing the al Qaeda leader and a small number of confidants.