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US plays down fears over bin Laden ship HK visit

/ 08:40 PM May 20, 2011

HONG KONG—US officials in Hong Kong on Friday played down fears of a terror attack ahead of the weekend visit of the aircraft carrier from which Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was buried.

The USS Carl Vinson is scheduled to arrive in the southern Chinese city on Sunday for a port call, amid security concerns and fears of a terror attack that have been highlighted by Hong Kong media over the past week.

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Hong Kong Security Secretary Ambrose Lee on Tuesday reportedly said the threat of a terrorist attack in the financial hub remained “moderate”, and that police had plans on how to deal with terrorists.

“We don’t anticipate anything untoward,” US consul general in Hong Kong Stephen Young said on Friday.

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“I don’t have any real concern on this visit, in fact I am delighted,” he said, adding that they will however “remain vigilant” over the visit.

The US has said bin Laden was buried at sea after being shot dead in a raid on his house in Pakistan earlier this month to avoid his grave being turned into a shrine by his supporters.

Some Muslim leaders have criticized the sea burial, saying it was against Islamic teachings.

The USS Carl Vinson arrived in the Philippines last Sunday but the crew avoided any mention of the incident.

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TAGS: al-Qaeda, Foreign affairs, Military, Osama Bin Laden, Security, Terrorism, USS Carl Vinson
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