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Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Thursday, 12 May 2011 08:59 UK

Bin Laden 'was not assassinated'

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The killing of Osama Bin Laden was "obviously lawful", the US Attorney General Eric Holder has said.

The mission "was not an assassination... his surrender would have been accepted," he told Today presenter Evan Davis.

"It was a kill-or-capture mission. And as I said, if the possibility had existed, if there was the possibility of a feasible surrender, that would have occurred."

"Anybody can decide to surrender, can be taken alive," he said. "But given the specific circumstances that those Navy Seals faced, on that evening, the decision that they made was an appropriate one."

It was important for the US to act consistently with moral values, he argued.

"I actually think that the dotting of the i's and the crossing of the t's is what separates the United States, the United Kingdom, our Allies, from those who we are fighting,"

"We do respect the rule of law, there are appropriate ways in which we conduct ourselves and expect our people to conduct themselves, and I think those Navy Seals conducted themselves in a way that's consistent with American, British values."


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