Pakistani authorities on Sunday continued tearing down the compound in the Abbottabad where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces last year, removing a structure that symbolised the security establishment's failure to trace the world's most wanted man.
In this still image taken from a Reuters TV video, demolition work is carried out of the building where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Abbottabad. Reuters
demolition began under the glare of spot lights and amidst tight security at around 9 pm on Saturday night.
All roads leading to the compound in Bilal Town, located about 800 yards from the elite Pakistan Military Academy, were closed before the work began.
Journalists who were able to get close to the compound despite the security cordon said large sections of the surrounding wall and a three-storey building had already been razed.
Geo News channel beamed footage that showed sections of the walls of all three storeys of the building had been torn down.
Parts of the walls around the compound too had been demolished and heavy earth-moving machinery and cranes could be seen in the 3,000 square metre compound.
It was not immediately clear who had ordered the demolition and there was no official word from the local administration or the military, which had taken control of the compound shortly after US Navy Seals killed the al-Qaeda chief in a pre-dawn raid on May 2 last year.
An unnamed Pakistani military official was quoted by CNN as saying that the compound was demolished so that it did not become a shrine for jehadi elements. Destroying the compound would "demoralize senior militant leaders", the official said.
Pakistan demolishes Osama hideout | Osama hideout demolished