Islamabad: The compound in the garrison town
of Abbottabad where Osama bin laden was killed by US special
forces last year was demolished by Pakistani authorities
tonight amidst tight security, local residents said.
Heavy machinery and cranes were moved to the compound,
located about 800 yards from the elite Pakistan Military
Academy, this evening as security agencies closed all roads
leading to the house in Bilal Town, local residents told the
Powerful spotlights were put up and a large number of
security personnel, including army soldiers, were deployed in
the area before the demolition began at around 9 pm.
"Osama compound at Bilal Town in Abbottabad city has been
dismantled," state-run Radio Pakistan announced on Twitter.
The private Geo News channel reported that authorities
first tore down the room on third floor where the world`s most
wanted man was gunned down by US Navy Seals.
Local residents and reporters said authorities had
directed people living in houses near the compound not to go
out on their rooftops.
Dunya News channel aired grainy footage of a section of a
balcony of the three-storey building being demolished.
The Pakistani military had taken control of the compound
shortly after the al Qaeda chief was killed in a pre-dawn raid
by US troops on May 2 last year.
There were rumours on at least two occasions in the past
that the compound would be demolished so that it did not
become a shrine for jihadists.
The media was given limited access to the compound after
it was briefly handed over to local police by the army for a
few days in May last year. However, soldiers were redeployed
at the site and people were barred from approaching it.
Pakistani intelligence agencies had thoroughly searched
the compound before giving American officials limited access
to it last year.
Media reports had said that the CIA maintained a safe
house for a small team of spies who conducted extensive
surveillance on the compound over a period of months.
In the past, Pakistani security agencies had demolished
Jamia Hafsa, a seminary affiliated to the radical Lal Masjid
in Islamabad, after a military operation in the mosque in
The walls of bin laden`s compound were higher and
thicker than those of every house in Bilal Town.
The compound consisted of three portions a big open
area for farming, a built up structure and a lawn on the north
side that was smaller than the farming area.
There was no other compound of the same size in the
area. The land for the compound was bought by Arshad Khan, one
of two al Qaeda couriers killed with bin Laden.
The house`s gas and electricity connections too were in
his name. Arshad Khan and his brother Tariq Khan were
tribesmen and belonged to the Wazir tribe of South Waziristan
Agency bordering Afghanistan.
Noor Mohammad, the contractor who built the compound in
2005, said Arshad Khan had paid him Rs 750,000 for the