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WASHINGTON (AP) – The photos of Osama bin Laden after his death are going to be kept sealed.

President Barack Obama has decided against releasing them, amid concern that the gruesome images could inflame Muslim anger.

Just yesterday, CIA Director Leon Panetta said a photo would be released. But Obama revealed his decision today in an interview taped for CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

There had been a spirited debate within the government over the possible impact of their release. The administration has tried to strike a balance — celebrating the success of the covert operation and addressing any doubts that it was bin Laden who was killed — without unnecessarily offending sensitivities in the Muslim world.

In advance of Obama’s decision, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — Republican Mike Rogers — said he was concerned that the photos could be seen as a “trophy” that would inflame US critics.

The photos have been described by several sources as gruesome. They say one picture shows part of bin Laden’s skull blown off.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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