Four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 100 kilometers north of Islamabad, said a Pakistani intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. One of the helicopters crashed after it apparently was hit by fire from the ground, the official said. He gave no word on casualties.
He said the helicopters took off from a Pakistani air base in the north of the country.
Women and children were taken into custody during the raid, he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.
A U.S. official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the raid was on a mansion close to Islamabad.
Announcing the operation in a televised statement in Washington, President Barack Obama said the operation took place Sunday.
The news that bin Laden was killed close to Islamabad will raise questions of how he managed to evade capture and how long he had been there. Most U.S. intelligence assessments had placed him along the lawless border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.