WASHINGTON, May 2: Hours after announcing that the US's number one enemy Osama Ben Laden had been killed and his dead body in US hands, reports have emerged quoting a US official telling US media that the body had already been buried - at sea.
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CNN, MSNBC and Fox said a senior US official confirmed to them that bin Laden's body had been buried in the sea, without giving further details.
AFP reported that US officials had not responded when contacted.
BACA JUGA DI SINI
The latest report is set to fuel doubts expressed over the truth of the US claim earlier this morning that Osama had been killed in a covert American military operation in Pakistan.
Earlier an administration official said of the corpse: "We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.
"This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner."
Some have said that burying bin Laden's body at sea would ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for his followers.
But in the absence of a concrete proof in the form of a body, Osama continues to be alive, much like he has been for more than a decade after the September 11 attacks which shot him to legendary fame.
'Pakistan in the dark'
Meanwhile, a US official said the US did not notify the Pakistani government about the US operation that supposedly killed the al-Qaeda leader.
The official added that the reason for not sharing intelligence with Islamabad was “the need to maintain complete secrecy” about the operation.
However, during his Sunday televised speech, the US president credited Islamabad's cooperation in tracking bin Laden.
"It is important to note that our counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding," Obama said.