US President Barack Obama has decided not to release photos of Osama bin Laden, which were taken to prove his death.

Mr Obama announced the decision in an interview with CBS.

The interview for the network’s ‘60 Minutes’ program is due to air on Sunday and comes after US commandos stormed bin Laden's hideout in a Pakistani compound and shot him dead.

US officials who have seen the pictures taken of bin Laden's body have described them as ‘gruesome’.

Mr Obama said it was important to keep photographic evidence from be used as a 'propaganda tool'.

There are fears that if the photos are released they could provoke anger and trigger a backlash against US personnel in the Muslim world.

Also tonight, US officials have told the Associated Press that the Navy SEALs who stormed bin Laden's compound shot and killed him after they saw him appear to lunge for a weapon.

The officials, who were briefed on the operation, said several weapons were found in the room where bin Laden died, including AK-47s and side arms.

Earlier, Pakistan blamed worldwide intelligence lapses for a failure to detect Osama bin Laden living near its capital.

Meanwwhile, Washington is working to establish whether its ally had sheltered the al-Qaeda leader.

The US had earlier acknowledged that bin Laden was unarmed when shot dead in Monday's raid in Abbottabad.

The shooting has raised accusations that Washington had violated international law.

Exact circumstances of his death remain unclear and could yet fuel controversy, especially in the Muslim world.

A leading Islamabad newspaper has said that Pakistan faced national embarrassment, in explaining how the world's most-wanted man was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the capital.

Islamabad vehemently denies it sheltered bin Laden.

'There is an intelligence failure of the whole world, not just Pakistan alone,' Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told reporters in Paris.

'(If there are) ... lapses from the Pakistan side, that means there are lapses from the whole world.'

The revelation that bin Laden was unarmed contradicted an earlier US account that he had participated in a firefight with the helicopter-borne American commandos.

Al Arabiya television went further, suggesting the architect of the 11 September attacks was first taken prisoner and then shot.

White House spokesman Jay Carney yesterday cited the 'fog of war' - a phrase suggested by a reporter - as a reason for the initial misinformation.

Bin Laden's killing and the swift burial of his body at sea have produced some criticism in the Muslim world and accusations Washington acted outside international law.

But there has been no sign of mass protests or violent reaction on the streets in south Asia or the Middle East, where Islamist militancy appears to have been eclipsed by pro-democracy movements sweeping the region.

There has been little questioning of the operation in the United States, where bin Laden's killing was greeted with street celebrations.

A New York Times/CBS News poll showed President Barack Obama's approval jumped 11 points to 57% after the operation, though Americans feared revenge attacks by militants.

Pakistan has welcomed bin Laden's death, but its Foreign Ministry expressed deep concerns about the raid, which it called an 'unauthorised unilateral action'.

The CIA said it kept Pakistan out of the loop because it feared bin Laden would be tipped off, highlighting the depth of mistrust between the two supposed allies.

US helicopters carrying the commandos used radar 'blind spots' in the hilly terrain along the Afghan border to enter Pakistani airspace undetected in the early hours of Monday.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn compared the latest humiliation with the admission in 2004 that one of the country's top scientists had sold its nuclear secrets.

The streets around bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad remained sealed off today, with police and soldiers allowing only residents to pass through.

Mr Carney insisted bin Laden resisted when US forces stormed his compound in the 40-minute operation. He would not say how.