Pakistan has begun to demolish the compound in the north-western city of Abbottabad where US forces located and killed Osama Bin Laden last May.
Residents say the government brought in three mechanised backhoes on Saturday, and started to destroy the compound’s tall outer walls after sunset, Sky News reported.
CNN affiliate GEO-TV broadcast footage of dust flying into the air from the compound, as troops stood and watched from outside, according to CNN.
The compound was cordoned off, and local residents and reporters were kept at a distance from the area. Security forces set up floodlights to continue the demolition work after dark, according to the BBC.
A Pakistani intelligence official confirmed to the Associated Press that the demolition was in progress, but would not say why the government had decided to begin the work.
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The compound has been a painful and embarrassing reminder for Pakistan, which was humiliated by the unilateral US attack which killed Bin Laden last year.
Special forces flew from Afghanistan to Bin Laden’s hideout in stealth helicopters during the night.
They stormed the compound, shooting Bin Laden and four others dead, and left 40 minutes later with the Al Qaeda chief’s corpse, a hoard of computer data devices, and other information regarding Bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s operations.
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