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Pakistan Demolishes Bin Laden Compound

Agnus Dei Farrant |
February 25, 2012 | 3:37 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Osama bin Laden's compound (Photo by Sajjad Ali Qureshi, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Osama bin Laden's compound (Photo by Sajjad Ali Qureshi, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
Working with backhoes under floodlights Saturday night, Pakistan authorities demolished the house in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden lived for years and was killed by U.S. commandos last May, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Local residents told reporters under the condition of anonymity that three mechanized backhoes began demolishing the compound after sunset on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal, bin Laden’s death left Pakistan with the choice to demolish the three-story house or turn it into a tourist attraction that could have potentially become a shrine for al-Qaeda supporters. The house belonged to a Pakistani man who worked as bin Laden's courier and died in the raid.

The compound was within a town consisting of many retired military personnel, and just a few miles of Pakistan’s premier military academy.

Though U.S. officials questioned how the former al-Qaeda leader was able to live there for five years without being detected, no evidence has been found that Pakistan’s military or government helped shelter bin Laden.

The raid that killed bin Laden strained already troubled ties between the U.S. and Pakistan. After the raid, Pakistan kicked out more than 100 U.S. troops training Pakistanis in counterterrorism operations and reduced the level of intelligence cooperation, the AP reported.

Additionally, American drones strikes targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region have further strained the relationship.

According to the AP, a suspected U.S. drone crashed Saturday in the North Waziristan tribal area. The unmanned aircraft is believed to have crashed due to technical problems.



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