WASHINGTON - The United States did not notify Pakistani allies about its operation against Osama bin Laden, a senior US administration official said Monday.
"We shared this intelligence on the compound with no other country, including Pakistan," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The need to maintain the complete secrecy of the operation was cited as the chief reason.
US President Barack Obama announced late Sunday that bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with covert US forces deep inside Pakistan a decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Obama said he had directed helicopter-borne US armed forces to launch an attack against a heavily fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday acting on a lead that first emerged last August.
Senior US officials said that in addition to bin Laden, three adult males died in the raid, two who were believed to be couriers for the Al-Qaeda leader, and one who was said to be one of his adult sons. A woman was also killed.
The official said that since the September 11 attack, the United States had made it clear to Pakistan that it would pursue bin Laden "wherever he might be."
"Pakistan has long understood we are at war with AQ (Al-Qaeda), the US had the legal and moral obligation to act on the information it had," the official noted.
Pakistan has been a key ally of the United States in the war on terror. But Islamabad has been often criticized for not doing enough to combat radicalism.