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CIA mocked for 'live tweeting' Bin Laden killing

US spy agency marks fifth anniversary of al-Qaeda chief's assassination by posting timeline of operation on Twitter.

US spy agency the CIA has "live tweeted" the military raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan five years ago, drawing derision and satire from many people on Twitter.

Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seal commandos on May 2, 2011, when they raided his compound in Abbottabad.

Several of the tweets included diagrams and maps of the compound, providing a rundown of the operation from the moment US President Barack Obama and intelligence officials approved it until the president received confirmation that bin Laden had been killed.

The CIA's Twitter account has more than 1.3 million followers.

According to the timeline of events, two helicopters descended on the compound at 3:30pm and one crashed.

The operation continued, however, and commandos killed the 54-year-old inside nine minutes.

One of the tweets showed an aerial photograph of the compound and a map of the region where it was located in Pakistan.

Another showed a layout of the premises.

Several social media users criticised the CIA's posts, while others satirised them.

Writing on its Twitter account, The Daily Show, a popular US news satire programme, mocked the agency.

Others lambasted the exercise as an attempt to justify CIA actions.

And several argued that the US should have brought bin Laden to trial rather than kill him.

Speaking to ABC News, CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani defended the operation, arguing that the "takedown of bin Laden stands as one of the great intelligence successes of all time". 

He said: "On the fifth anniversary, it is appropriate to remember the day and honour all those who had a hand in this achievement."

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