Pak military takes control of Osama`s compound

The Pakistan Army had handed over the compound to police a few days ago.

Updated: May 09, 2011, 09:05 AM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistani military on Sunday again took control of the compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces, triggering rumours that the structure would be demolished so that it did not become a shrine for jihadists.

There were unconfirmed reports of two blasts in Abbottabad but the source of the explosions was not immediately clear. Reporters who rushed to the spot said they were not being allowed by authorities to get close to the compound, which appeared to be intact.

The journalists also quoted local residents as saying that they had not heard any blasts.

The media was given limited access to the compound after it was handed over to police by the Army a few days ago. However, soldiers were deployed around the compound yesterday and reporters were barred from approaching it.

TV news channels reported that security forces conducted a search operation in Abbottabad last night for an alleged safe house that was used by the CIA to spy on bin Laden.

The Washington Post had reported that the CIA maintained a safe house for a small team of spies who conducted extensive surveillance over a period of months on the compound where bin Laden was killed by US special forces on May 02.

The security forces and members of a special anti-terror force conducted the search operation in several areas, including Bilal Town, where bin Laden`s compound is located.

Express 24/7 news channel reported that troops from the Army`s Engineering Corps searched the compound. There was no official confirmation of these reports.

Media reports have quoted unnamed Pakistani security officials as saying that they want bin Laden`s compound to be demolished so that it does not become a shrine. Authorities have also imposed curbs on the international media reporting from Abbottabad.

PTI