Life has returned to normal in Abbottabad, a northwestern Pakistani garrison city where former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in special U.S. operation two years ago.
After a four-hour drive from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, Abbottabad now appears quiet and normal with little presence of police officers and journalists compared to two years ago, after the terrorist chief most wanted by the Americans was killed by U.S. Navy SEALS commandos on May 2, 2011.
The Pakistani authorities demolished former Bin Laden’s residence compound in January 2012. Local government is planning to build a park on the site and many locals are hoping to buy homes nearby.
“When Bin Laden was killed, many of the local residents were concerned over the danger living here and wanted to move away. However, things are different now,” said Khan, a local security officer.
Children are seen playing cricket on the site and local residents have grown vegetables in a field that was part of the former compound’s garden, a sign showing life in the once heavily guarded city has returned to normal.