Contractor who built Osama's house held

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Islamabad, May 4: Pakistani authorities on Wednesday, May 4 arrested the contractor who allegedly built the million dollar complex where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was shot dead during a raid by US special forces in Abbottabad.

Gul Muhammad, who was also known as Gul Madah or Mithu Khan, was picked up from his residence near Bilal Town neighbourhood, near the garrison city of Abbottabad, where bin Laden's compound is located, TV news channels reported.

Muhammad, aged between 45 and 50 years, was detained by security forces at 2 am, the reports said.

He hailed from Battagram district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and had been living near Abbottabad for some years.

Muhammad was believed to have been taken to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

Security agencies were also questioning others involved in constructing the compound and providing construction materials.

Bin Laden''s presence in the compound located about 800 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, one of the country''s main military training facilities, has caused embarrassment for the military and the intelligence set-up.

An unnamed ISI official told reporters yesterday that the compound had been raided in 2003 during a search for a top al-Qaeda operative.

Since then, the compound had not been on the ISI''s radar, the official said.

The land for the compound was acquired in three separate deals by one Arshad Khan from Charsadda district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Khan has now been identified as one of the two couriers killed along with bin Laden in the US raid.

The world's most wanted terrorist's compound, which was opened to the media yesterday after the military handed it over to police, was sealed again this morning.

Police and security forces set up a camp in the area, sealed nearby streets and barred the public and media crews from approaching the compound.

Security remained high across Abbottabad city, with security forces patrolling the streets.

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