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Homeland Security

Reports mixed on location, burial of bin Laden

RIA Novosti

12:04 02/05/2011

WASHINGTON, May 2 (RIA Novosti) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's body has been buried at sea, CNN reported on Monday citing a U.S. official.

Earlier Fox News reported that bin Laden could be buried in Saudi Arabia by midday on Monday according to Muslim traditions.

There has so far been no official confirmation from the U.S. Administration of bin Laden being buried in Saudi Arabia or at sea. U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier that bin Laden's body was in the custody of the United States, however, did not specify where the body was.

According to CNN, bin Laden's body was buried at sea in order to avoid creating a shrine for followers on land.

Fox News reported "Terrorist Number 1's" body was under heavy guard at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

According to Muslim traditions, the body of the deceased should be buried within 24 hours after the individual's death. According to Fox News sources, the U.S. Administration has no plans of straying from the traditions and bin Laden could be buried as early as midday on Monday.

Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia and the country may agree to bury him on its territory; however, no official requests have come from the Middle Eastern state. Bin Laden was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991.

At least 44 U.S. Navy SEALs were involved in the military operation to capture bin Laden. According to preliminary reports of the shootout, the al Qaeda leader was shot in the head while hiding behind a woman during the operation. The unidentified woman and three men, one believed to be bin Laden's son, were also killed in the operation that lasted several minutes.

No U.S. military personnel were killed in the operation.

The U.S. State Department earlier warned U.S. citizens about possible heightened threats towards Americans living throughout the world in connection with the death of bin Laden. The State Department has issued global travel warning for all U.S. citizens. Some embassies around the world may reduce working hours or temporarily close their doors for security reasons, the State Department said.

Moscow police on Monday boosted security around the U.S. Embassy after Obama made the official announcement of bin Laden's death.

"Additional police forces around the Embassy of the United States of America in Moscow have been brought in to ensure security," a police source told RIA Novosti.



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