South Asia News
Demolition of Osama's last hideout nearly complete, Pakistan says
Feb 26, 2012, 10:00 GMT
Islamabad - Pakistani security forces have demolished much of the compound where al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by US commandoes almost a year ago, police officials and residents said Sunday.
The high-walled, barbed wired compound in Abbottabad was seized by Pakistani officials following the May 2 raid. Officials later expressed concern that the building had become a tourist attraction and a magnet for al-Qaeda sympathisers.
The demolition work started after dust on Saturday, when security forces moved several bulldozers and construction cranes to the site. Work continued through the night and on Sunday.
'We have received reports from the place that around 75 per cent of the building has been brought down and demolishing work might end by the end of the day,' said Nazir Ahmad, a police official.
'But the work of transporting the rubble from the site might take a couple of more days,' he estimated, saying that security forces had cordoned off the area.
Gul Khan, a local resident who is able to see the Osama mansion from his rooftop, said the complex was being brought down bit by bit.
'I can see from here (that) most of the building is gone,' he told dpa.
It was not yet clear what Pakistani authorities planned to do with the large piece of land once it is cleared.
The May 2 raid embarassed Pakistan and strained its relations with the United States.
Read more about Pakistan Terrorism