Islamabad, Feb 26 (ANI): The secret three-storey compound of killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad is reportedly being demolished by Pakistani authorities.
According to The New York Times, heavy machinery operators broke through the tall perimeter wall of the 3,000 square-meter compound on Saturday night.
Hours later, they started to demolish the main house where bin Laden had lived with his family.
A local official said the military handed control of the house to the district administration on Saturday afternoon and the demolition began secretly soon after that. Military personnel reportedly sealed off the area around the compound, keeping reporters away.
The Pakistan military was criticised both at home and abroad after the May 2 raid, when the SEALs stormed the house and shot bin Laden in the head. The Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, in particular, faced sharp scrutiny after it emerged that the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks had been hiding within a few hundred yards of the Pakistan Military Academy.
Last October, Pasha had told the official inquiry team that his spies were unaware of bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad.
In Washington, American officials said Pakistan's move came as a surprise for them.
"The Pakistanis have been saying for a while that they wanted to do this, but the timing came as a complete surprise. The Pakistanis really don't want to have all this attention around it," he added. (ANI)
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