The press has descended en masse to the sleepy town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, considered an idyllic vacation spot until Sunday when it became more famously known as the final hideout of Osama bin Laden. Any hopes of catching a glimpse inside Mr. bin Laden's secret compound were dashed, however, as Pakistani forces are tightly guarding the area and the Army literally chased down Western journalists who attempted to get close.
After the Army departed today and left security in the hands of local police, reporters were able to climb atop nearby buildings to see what they could of the mysterious hideout of America's most-wanted terrorist. Here is what one reporter observed:
Chickens and roosters and fields surround the compound, which is set apart from other homes in the neighborhood. Littered nearby are remnants of the Blackhawk helicopter that US forces destroyed Sunday after it was grounded by a mechanical failure during the operation. Local children gathered up the scraps and sold them for a few hundred Rupees to journalists.
Many articles mention the compound's thick, high walls. Indeed, up to 15 feet high in certain spots – some brick, some concrete, and most charred after a day of fires inside the compound – they were topped with three tiers of barbed wire to keep out prying eyes. Most other gates in the area lack barbed wire, setting this compound apart from the rest of the neighborhood.
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