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Washington: Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was buried at sea, apparently over fears that his burial on land may become a site to attract his extremist followers.

The body of world's most wanted terrorist, who was killed on Monday by US Special Forces in Pakistan, was handled in Islamic tradition and given a burial at sea, US officials said.

Burying his body at sea would ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for his followers as that of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain, whose grave has been converted into a tomb and is treated more like a shrine by his followers.

"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," a senior administration official said.

No details about the last rites of bin Laden was available, except for officials saying that US decided to bury him at sea.

This was apparently because it would have been difficult to find a country that would have accepted his body.

The burial took place within hours after his body was airlifted by US Special Forces who killed him.
Burying his body at sea would ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for his followers as that of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain, whose grave has been converted into a tomb and is treated more like a shrine by his followers.

(Agencies)