Abbottabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistani authorities have begun to demolish the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that Osama Bin Laden used as a hideout until he was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in May 2011.
“The action was taken to keep the compound from ever becoming a shrine for Bin Laden’s followers,” a Pakistani military official told CNN. “It’s a message that Pakistan doesn’t want to keep anything connected with this terrorist.”
CNN affiliate GEO-TV showed video of dust flying into the air from the compound as troops stood and watched from outside.
Pakistani authorities cordoned off the compound Saturday evening and brought in heavy machinery and flood lights to the site.
Local residents and reporters were being kept at a distance from the demolition area.
Destroying the compound would “demoralize senior militant leaders,” said the military official, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media about the demolition.
“The demolition of this compound is the demolition of anything that symbolized” bin Laden, the official said.
CNN’s Reza Sayah and journalists Nasir Habib, Zubair Ayoub and Tahir Shah contributed to this report.