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Pakistan plans theme park for bin Laden compound

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-04

Pakistan plans to build a $30 million amusement park in the town of Abbottabad, where former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in a May 2, 2011 raid on his compound, local officials said Monday.

Pakistan has plans to build a $30 million theme park in the town of Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in a May 2, 2011 raid on his compound, regional officials said Monday.

The government of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province says the project is aimed at boosting tourism and has nothing to do with the town’s now-famous reputation as the site of bin Laden’s capture.

"We are working to promote tourism and amusement facilities in the whole province and this project is one of those facilities," the regional minister for tourism and sports, Syed Aqil Shah, told AFP.

"This project has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden," he added.

Abbottabad, a quiet town in the foothills of the Himalayas some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has long been a popular weekend spot for residents of the capital. The town also houses Pakistan's premier military academy.

Funds worth $30 million have already been allocated for the project, Shah said. Work is due to begin in late February or early March, he said, and is expected to take up to eight years.

"The amusement city will be built on 50 acres in the first phase but later will be extended to 500 acres," Shah said.

"It will have a heritage park, wildlife zoo, food street, adventure and paragliding clubs, waterfalls and jogging tracks."

Pakistani authorities demolished the compound where bin Laden had lived in hiding with his family last February, fearing it could become a shrine to followers of the former al Qaeda leader.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2013-02-04

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