Pakistani authorities have completed the demolition of Osama Bin Laden compound in the city of Abbottabad. A raid by the US SEALs, carried out last May, killed the terrorist in his Pakistani home where he allegedly lived for six years.
Works to demolish the three-story compound started late on Saturday and continued throughout the night on Sunday. Local residents said that the authorities brought at least three machines with special cranes and set up floodlights to allow work to progress through the night, AP reports.
Police cordoned off the area and blocked roads leading to the compound to keep spectators away.
The Pakistani government did not give any preliminary warning that they were planning to demolish the compound, although the discussion of what should be done with the terrorist’s home had been continuing for some time. The authorities decided on the move in order to prevent the site from becoming a shrine for Al-Qaeda followers, a Pakistani military official was quoted by CNN as saying.
“The action was taken to keep the compound from ever becoming a shrine for Bin Laden’s followers,” the official said. “It’s a message that Pakistan doesn’t want to keep anything connected with this terrorist.”
A US Navy SEAL team killed Osama Bin Laden in a raid back in May 2011. The Pakistani authorities had not been consulted on the operation. The US explained the secrecy was driven by concerns that someone in the Pakistani government might tip off the terrorist.
The operation, which lasted for about 40 minutes, strained the relationship between the two states. While Pakistan insisted its sovereignty had been violated, some members of the American Congress demanded that the country’s officials explained how the world’s most notorious terrorist was able to hide just 50 kilometers from the capital, Islamabad. The politicians called on the US to cut off military and civilian aid to Pakistan. However, the aid still continues to flow into the country, but at a lower rate.
The countries’ relations have been increasingly strained recently after an unauthorized US drone attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers back in November 2011.
The country’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told RT that repeated US drone attacks “illegal”, saying that they further destabilize the country and the region.