For years the Americans thought bin Laden, who was responsible for the 2001 September 11 attacks was hiding in the tribal region belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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But it has now been revealed that for the last three years he had been living at the mansion where he was assassinated in an affluent suburb in Pakistan's capital. It is an area not usually associated with the Taliban and most of the residents aren’t al-Qaeda supporters. Neighbors said the house belonged to a man from the Taliban stronghold of Peshawar.
The house in the town of Bilal in Abbottabad near the capital city of Islamabad is only 50-60 meters from neighboring houses. Not far from there is Pakistan's military academy and a military hospital. Tanks and artillery troops are stationed nearby.
Neighbors and local media doubted the US announcement over the al-Qaeda leader's assassination. They found it hard to believe that the man that terrified the world for years was living right next door.
The media keeps mentioning that there is no body and that Obama has yet to present any proof. In any case, journalists aren't being allowed near the house where bin-Laden lived with his nine wives and 23 of his children.
Meanwhile, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has defended his country against accusations it did not do enough to track down bin Laden. In an op-ed for The Washington Post he said Pakistan was as much a victim of al-Qaeda militants as any country and denied any notion that authorities had failed to act.
But newspapers said the raid would generate more questions on Pakistan's role as an ally in combating terrorism.
"Pakistan has found itself in quite the embarrassing situation. ... Whilst we have been allies of the US, we have been very trying partners, picking and choosing the militants we wanted to root out and the ones we wanted to protect," the Daily Times said.
"It is hoped we will not be on the receiving end of a negative fallout with the Americans, who are in this war for (the) long haul."
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