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'Uncomfortable at bin Laden killing' Archbishop voices his concerns.


THE Archbishop of Canterbury said the killing of an unarmed Osama bin Laden by US special forces left him with a "very uncomfortable feeling".

Dr Rowan Williams, the leader of the Anglican church, also criticised the way in which the Obama administration has appeared to change its account of the raid.

Asked about the moral justification of the al Qaida mastermind's death in Pakistan, he said: "I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done."

He added: "I think it's also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help.

"I don't know the full details any more than anyone else does. But I do believe that in such circumstances, when we are faced with someone who was manifestly a war criminal in terms of the atrocities inflicted, it is important that justice is seen to be served."

Dr Williams was speaking at a press briefing at Lambeth Palace, London, announcing the appointment of two clergy as "flying bishops".

His comments came as a senior US defence official admitted that only one of the five people killed in the operation was armed and fired shots.

Briefings earlier in the week by White House and Pentagon staff had portrayed the raid as involving prolonged and fierce firefights, with initial reports that bin Laden had fired a weapon.

The unnamed official said the story had become clearer as the Navy Seal team were debriefed.

Meanwhile Barack Obama made an emotional return to Ground Zero last night to lay a wreath, days after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The tribute at the site of the World Trade Centre was the focus of the President's visit to New York, arranged swiftly after the raid in Pakistan that culminated in the death of the al Qaida leader.

After laying the simple wreath of red, white and blue flowers at the foot of the Survivor Tree, which was damaged in the September 11, 2001 attack but later freed from the rubble, Mr Obama stood for a moment's silence.

He then hugged relatives of those killed in the terrorist atrocity, which was masterminded by bin Laden, and exchanged a few words with them.

Earlier, Mr Obama had visited a fire station in Midtown Manhattan which lost 15 men on September 11. He told firefighters that the shooting of bin Laden "sent a message around the world", that "when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say".

Speaking at the Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion, Mr Obama said the raid had transcended party politics."


* ATTACK: Dr Williams criticised the Obama US administration
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 6, 2011
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