Washington, May 2 (PTI) Former US Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, credited with firing the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, has said that the commandos who entered the al-Qaeda chief’s compound, had all accepted that they would be killed, even saying goodbye to their families before they departed for the mission.Also Read - Afghanistan No Longer Major Non NATO Ally: United States

Osama, the world’s most wanted terrorist, was killed in a covert raid by a US Navy SEAL team on his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan on May 2, 2011. Also Read - Several Feared Dead as Massive Blast Rocks Kabul Mosque After Friday Prayers

O’Neill, who served with Navy SEAL Team Six, said it was an honour to be part of that incredible team which participated in the mission. Also Read - 'Jaage Ho, TV Dekh Rahe Ho?’ When PM Modi's Midnight Call Surprised Foreign Minister Jaishankar

Talking to Fox News on the 7th anniversary of the covert operation, he said the commandos who entered Osama’s Abbottabad compound had all accepted that they would be killed, even saying goodbye to their families before they departed for the mission.

“We accepted it, we said goodbye to our kids. Then it was pride, I’m so proud of my guys,” O’Neill said, crediting the “point man” on the raid for displaying even more bravery.

He said as he and his teammates flew away on a helicopter after completing the mission in Pakistan, he began to realise that they might actually survive.

“The pilot came over the radio and said, ‘Alright, guys, for the first time in your lives, you’re going to be happy to hear this: Welcome to Afghanistan.’ And that’s when you realise, we pulled it off,” O’Neil said.

He also recalled that he carried with him a pair of sunglasses, purchased with a credit card shortly before the mission.

O’Neill said he had the sunglasses in his pocket during the raid, thinking he would need them to disguise himself if he and his fellow soldiers had to flee in the event the mission went wrong.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.