ABBOTTABAD - In a secretive operation jointly conducted by the security forces and agencies, Osama bin Laden’s hideout was demolished here on Saturday after nearly 10 months the US had launched Abbottabad operation that took out the world’s most wanted militant.
According to details, the operation that started in the evening at around 7:00 pm was conducted by the personnel of Pakistan Army, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, Frontier Constabulary (FC), Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). Reportedly, the operation was kept at extremely low key and it was initiated in the electricity loadshedding hours at Thanda Choha, a relatively suburban area located a few hundred yards away from Pakistan Military Academy, in the posh Bilal Town locality. Three heavy duty cranes of FWO that were being used to remove snow in Galiyat, a famous hilly resort of Abbottabad district, were used to raze the compound. Official sources said that initially two cranes were brought into usage to demolish the inside walls and structure of the two-storey hideout while the third crane was used to topple the outer wall. The operation reportedly remained continued till eight hours from 7:00 pm to 3:00 am.
Interestingly, the personnel of Abbottabad police were deputed outside the compound and were not allowed to enter the compound premises while the police contingents from Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi and Peshawar were deputed inside. Officials said this strategy was followed considering that the local police had more information about the hideout and ‘precautionary’ measures were taken to avoid any security lapse. Two battalions of Frontier Constabulary were reportedly called from Peshawar that were involved in the OBL compound razing operation.
When contacted, the District Police Officer, Abbottabad, Karim Khan, refused to comment on the issue. He neither confirmed nor denied when this newspaper inquired if an operation to demolish the abandoned hideout was underway. “I would not respond to any question in this regard. This is a very sensitive matter and we need to avoid speculations. Every detail would be made available to you. All you need is to stay patient,” he suggested to this journalist in a brief telephonic conversation.
Last month, nine rockets were fired at Pakistan Military Academy three of which damaged its outer wall. The attack had taken place a day after Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Abbottabad. This had reportedly led the security forces to decide demolishing the secretive hideaway that is located a few hundred yards away from the incident site. The involvement of runway militants that had fled Abbottabad after May 2 operation was suspected in the PMA rockets attack. After the US Navy seals took out OBL and Pakistani authorities detained his wives and children, the authorities remained indecisive regarding the fate of OBL compound for nearly 10 months. The reports kept doing rounds that the OBL compound would be razed before May 2 this year.