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Pakistan Returns US Helicopter from bin Laden Raid

The wreckage of a US helicopter that crashed next to the wall of the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad being transported by Pakistani officials, May 2, 2011

The Pentagon says Pakistan has returned the wreckage of an American military helicopter that was destroyed during the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told VOA Tuesday that the helicopter wreckage was returned over the weekend and is now back in the United States. He did not disclose a specific location.

U.S. special forces destroyed the aircraft after it malfunctioned during the May 2 military operation targeting the al-Qaida leader in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

U.S. military officials had feared the helicopter's cutting-edge technology could fall into the wrong hands and be replicated elsewhere.

Pakistani leaders criticized the covert U.S. raid as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and warned against future unilateral actions.

The U.S. operation further strained ties between the two countries.

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