Marijuana plants grew near Osama hideout

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 21:28

Washington: High-strength marijuana plants
have been found just yards from the mansion of slain al Qaeda
chief Osama bin Laden who was killed by US commandos deep
inside Pakistan on Sunday.

CNN reported from close to the 9/11 mastermind`s
mansion in the military garrison town of Abbottabad today that
the marijuana plants were growing alongside other crops
including cabbages and potatoes.

Despite being a short walk from a military training
academy dubbed `Pakistan`s Sandhurst`--800 yards away-- the
illegal crop had remained undiscovered, it said.

Hundreds of marijuana plants appear to have flourished
for a number of years on the border of bin Laden`s compound,
about 80 km from Islamabad, where he is reported to have holed
up for over six years.

Western reporters who flocked to the spot noticed the
pungent line of plants growing in the dry fields surrounding
the five-metre high concrete walls
Media reports said bin Laden had in recent years
suffered from kidney problems which may have been eased by
taking marijuana for its medicinal properties.

The searing heat in the north-western region of
Pakistan would provide ideal conditions for the plant to grow.
Millions of dollars are made each year from drug
trafficking in Pakistan-- though opium is more popular than
cannabis.

More details about bin Laden`s lifestyle came from
local residents who spoke of their experience of living next
to the world`s most wanted terrorist.

Another media report said that according to a nearby
shopkeeper two young men who lived inside the compound with
bin Laden made regular trips for bulk food orders.

The grocery basket included extensive supplies of Pepsi
and Coke-US brands that have become the face of western
commercialism that bin Laden claimed to despise, it said.

The two young men called themselves Akbar and Rashid
Khan and did the daily shopping in the Pashtu-language accents
of Waziristan, a region on the Afghan border.

Grocer Anjum Qaisar, 27, who works 150 metres from the
compound, said: "Bin Laden’s men never came by foot, they
always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought
enough food for ten people."

Qaisar said that he did not know who lived inside the
building.

"I was curious about why they bought so much food, but
I did not want to be rude by asking," he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 21:28

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