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Gruesome photo of Osama's body a fake

Rituparna Chatterjee | http://MasalaBai

Updated: May 2, 2011, 7:26 PM IST
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Gruesome photo of Osama's body a fake
The image showed a dead Osama bin Laden with half open eyes and hair matted with blood.

New Delhi: A gruesome image, purportedly of the body of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden who was killed in a gunbattle with US forces in Pakistan on Monday, is a fake, according to media reports.

The image that was initially carried by many of the mainstream news media organizations resurfaced soon after news got out that the glowering mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan in a firefight with US forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a decade.

The image showed a dead Osama bin Laden with half open eyes and hair matted with blood. It was first broadcast on a Pakistani television channel and picked up by British newspaper websites after it appeared the fake picture was initially published by a Middle East online newspaper on 29 April 2009, The Guardian newspaper reported.

The image was widely carried by many of the online newspapers and blogs to substantiate claims that the al Qaeda supreme was gunned down by American forces.

The image is based on a genuine photograph of bin Laden taken in 1998 by the Reuters news agency. Associated Press also released the television screen grab of the bloodied image which it later retracted. The bottom half of the fake image (right) is identical to that of the Reuters photo (left).

So far the US authorities have not released an official photo of the corpse of the man who was once the world's most wanted terrorist.

First Published: May 2, 2011, 7:26 PM IST
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