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Chopper damaged in OBL raid back in US: Pentagon


Pakistan has returned the wreckage of a US helicopter used in the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden early this month, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday. 

"The wreckage of the helicopter destroyed in the bin Laden operation was returned over the weekend and is now back in the United States," Colonel Dave Lapan said.

The helicopter was damaged in a hard landing at bin Laden's compound and US special forces deliberately blew it up after gunning down the Al-Qaeda leader in the May 1-2 raid, officials have said.

Photographs of the tail of the wrecked helicopter fueled speculation among experts and aviation enthusiasts that the aircraft was a secret model with design features to reduce noise or foil radar detection -- most likely a modified Blackhawk.

Pakistan had said earlier this month that it would not share the damaged helicopter with China, which has been accused of buying up wreckage of US military aircraft to get an insight into American defense technology.

Tensions between the United States and its ally Pakistan have run high since bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the world's most wanted man, was found living in Abbottabad, a garrison town near Islamabad.

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