News / Asia

Bin Laden's Death Increases Tensions Among Pakistanis

Pakistan army troops remove canvas screens from outside a house, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 3, 2011
Pakistan army troops remove canvas screens from outside a house, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 3, 2011

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The killing of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan in a U.S. operation has shocked many Pakistani's and raised questions over the country's role in pursuing the world's most wanted terrorist.   

The mansion in Abbottabad, just an hour’s drive from Islamabad, is where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. commandos.  

U.S. authorities say it was designed to hide the world's most wanted man.  

"The military operation started at around 12:45 am. Helicopters were flying very low over that area in which some tribal people from Miran Shah were living behind a 12 or 13 foot high boundary wall. We are hearing that when the operation started there were four explosions. The fourth was the strongest," said local resident Shadid Ali.

As they digested the news, a sense of anxiety gripped the country and the Pakistani government heightened security levels.

Meanwhile a bomb blast shook the town of Chersadda, just outside of Peshawar, just hours after bin Laden's death became known. Many in Pakistan are worried that extremists will retaliate.

Extremists have been using Pakistan as a safe haven for years, and the U.S. has long called for a crackdown.

Since bin Laden was killed near a military academy close to the country's capital, questions are being raised about Pakistan's commitment to finding the al-Qaida leader.  
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai says because bin Laden was killed in Pakistan the fight against terrorism should be focused there.

"The war against terrorism is not in the houses of innocent Afghan civilians. The fight against terrorism is not in bombing children and women in Afghanistan. The war against terrorism should be carried out in terrorist safe havens and training camps and not in Afghanistan, and today this has been proved right," said Karzai.

If Pakistan played a role in identifying bin Laden's location, his killing could ease tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan.  

The U.S. and Pakistan have sparred recently over CIA drone strikes against militants, and Pakistan's perceived reluctance to strike terror bases.

But the killing could also intensify suspicions in Washington that Pakistan has sheltered terrorists like bin Laden.  

Pakistan has long denied that bin Laden and other terrorists were hiding on Pakistani soil.  But bin Laden is just the latest terrorist to be captured or killed there.

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