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05-02-11, 10:42 AM #1
Twitter User Reports Live on Bin Laden Raid -- Without Knowing It
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – A Pakistani provided live Twitter updates on the raid that killed Usama bin Laden, without realizing it.
IT consultant Sohaib Athar took to Twitter in the early hours of Monday local time when he heard helicopters in the night sky above his home close to the compound where bin Laden was cornered and killed by U.S. forces.
Posting as @ReallyVirtual, Athar wrote, "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."
Minutes later he reported, "A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty."
Athar went on to describe gunfire, explosions and the sound of a helicopter crashing as the raid continued. He estimated he was around two miles away from the firefight.
It was only hours after the raid took place that the he eventually connected the explosions to an announcement by President Obama that a U.S. military team killed bin Laden in strike at a mansion in Abbottabad.
"There goes the neighborhood," Athar tweeted. "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who live-blogged the Osama raid without knowing it."
After his unknowing reportage, Athar was being followed by more than 17,000 Twitter users as he tried to play down his role, "I am JUST a tweeter, awake at the time of the crash. Not many twitter users in Abbottabad, these guys are more into facebook. That's all."
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05-02-11, 04:00 PM #2
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