- (Photo: Reuters/ Stringer)
A new amusement park will be built in Pakistan just a short distance from the hideout where Osama Bin Laden was found and killed nearly two years ago.
Pakistani officials have plans to build a $50 million park in the town of Abbottabad, the same location where Bin Laden was discovered by U.S. commandos in 2011, according to The Associated Press. The park is meant to draw tourism in hopes of casting away a negative reputation, officials said.
"This project has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden," Syed Aqil Shah, minister for tourism and sports in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, told the New York Daily News.
After speaking with Shah, AP said the park was referred to as a "revival of recreational and cultural activities." It will include attractions like those in most American amusement parks, complete with a zoo and water sports facility.
The compound where Bin Laden had previously hidden away in was destroyed last February. The suspected terrorist had used the location as a safe house for over four years before Bin Laden was eventually shot and killed there. But the U.S. failed to notify Pakistani officials before carrying out the 2011 raid out of fears that their impending attack would be leaked. The lack of trust between the two nations has raised tensions, and the relationship has since been strained.
The initial plans for the park are small although later phases will include covering more acreage, according to reports.
"The amusement city will be built on 50 acres in the first phase but later will be extended to 500 acres," Shah told the Associated Free Press.
The park will not extend, however, to the site where Bin Laden lived.
"A senior official has dismissed calls to build an actual park on the site of bin Laden's compound, fearing that people will start calling it 'Osama Park,'" the Daily News reported.