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Why Was Bin Laden Buried At Sea?

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AP/US Navy, Daniel Barker

Just hours after he was killed in a United States-led operation, Osama bin Laden’s lifeless body -- bathed, wrapped in a sheet and placed in a weighted bag -- was “eased” off the decks of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson into the waters of the north Arabian Sea.

ABC News reports that traditionally, Muslims are not buried at sea, but in a grave without a casket. According to a mortuary transportation trade site, "the most devout Muslims require the bathing, shrouding and burial within 24 hours of death, even if it means delaying the declared time of death."

So why was bin Laden buried at sea?

Time reports that it would have been a challenge to find a country that would allow bin Laden to be buried in its soil, and there were “rumors” that Saudi Arabia refused the offer.

Additionally, The New York Times reports that a sea burial also keeps his final resting place from becoming a shrine to extremists.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press conference Tuesday that a member of the military “read prepared religious remarks” that were translated into Arabic at the burial ceremony. It reportedly lasted about 40 minutes.

Do you think the decision to bury bin Laden at sea rather than on land was a good one? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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