ABBOTTABAD/PESHAWAR: Pakistan Army troops and the local administration on Saturday began demolishing the three-storey compound where al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed by US Special Forces in a night-time raid on May 2, 2011.

The demolition process has entered into the last phase, Geo News reported.

Senior government officials and residents in Bilal Town in Abbottabad, where the compound was located, said that a number of soldiers along with policemen arrived in the area and moved heavy machinery near the building.

The residents said soldiers and policemen had already been deployed in the area after the US commandoes conducted the operation and allegedly killed Bin Laden as the authorities wanted to stop people from going towards the compound.

They said the arrival of fresh contingents of troops with cranes and other machinery in Bilal Town on Saturday convinced them that the military had made up its mind to demolish the building.

“After arriving in the area, the soldiers and the policemen cordoned off the entire town from all sides and did not allow the local residents to enter or leave Bilal Town,” a resident Momin Khan said.

He said: “We believed the army would use explosives to blow up the building but it wasn’t the case”. Instead, Momin Khan said, five heavy cranes were used to demolishing the structures.

The area was completely cordoned off. Residents tried to take pictures of the demolition process, but most could not succeed as it was dark,” he added.