Pakistan authorities on Saturday night demolished the three-story house in Abbottabad where Osama bin Laden lived for years and died last May during a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in an apparent bid to stop it becoming a tourist site or shrine for al Qaeda supporters.
An Abbottabad resident said mechanized backhoes working under floodlight completed the demolition shortly before midnight.
After the raid that killed bin Laden, Pakistan was left with a choice of whether to demolish the house or to manage it as a tourist attraction.
By deciding to demolish it, Pakistan authorities have followed a course taken by Germany, which for years did not mark Adolf Hitler’s bunker after his death to avoid it attracting neo-Nazis.
Immediately after the midnight raid that killed bin Laden, hundreds of local tourists came to look at the house in Abbottabad, a pleasant town ringed by Himalayan foothills about 30 miles northeast of Islamabad, and to collect parts of the downed U.S. Black Hawk that crashed during the sortie.