MAY 2 2011 10:29h

Report: Bin Laden children, wives arrested

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 2 (UPI) -- Six children and two wives of slain al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden were taken into custody by Pakistani forces, China's Xinhua said, quoting a local channel.

One of bin Laden's sons was killed during the operation, the report said.

The official Chinese news agency said the Urdu language channel Duniya quoted sources as saying the Pakistani forces also arrested four close friends of bin Laden.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night bin Laden was killed by an elite U.S. team during a firefight in Pakistan.

It was not clear if the Urdu channel mentioned the U.S. team but Xinhua quoted the channel as saying the children, the wives and friends of bin Laden were arrested during a search operation Monday morning by the Pakistani forces in a mountainous area about 38 miles from the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

Separately, Xinhua said the Urdu TV channel Geo News quoted Pakistani intelligence officials as saying bin Laden was killed in a search operation by the Pakistani forces after a Pakistani army helicopter was shot down Monday morning in Abbotabad, a mountainous town north of Islamabad.

The report said a Pakistani helicopter was shot down about 1:20 a.m. local time by unidentified people in the Sikandarabad area of Abbotabad, which then led to the search operation and subsequent exchange of fire.

The report said the Pakistani forces later arrested some Arab women and children and some armed people who later allegedly confessed to the Pakistani forces they were with bin Laden.

Xinhua quoted local media that two U.S. helicopters later carried away the body of bin Laden.

The report said at least one person was killed and two others were injured in the chopper crash, which also caused fires in two houses.

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