With President Obama's late Sunday night announcement that U.S. military forces had executed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the city of Abbottabad went from relative obscurity to the setting of one of the most historic military operations in American history.
For a little background information on bin Laden's desert hideaway, here are five facts about the now famous city:
1. Located in northern Pakistan.
A quick geography lesson. The city is located 120 miles east of the Afghanistan border and 30 miles north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Abbottabad has an elevation of 4,120 feet above sea level and a population of approximately one million people.
Here's more from CNN:
2. Named after a British army officer.
In 1853, Major James Abbott annexed the town from the Punjab. As the
3. Known as a tourist destination.
Abbottabad is one of the most beautiful cities in Pakistan, attracting tourists with its scenic views and pleasing climate. The Karakoram Highway, which follows the ancient Silk Road trade rout, is a prime attraction for adventure seeking travelers.
Here's a quick YouTube tour of the town:
4. The Pakistan military's main training institution is located there.
Abbottabad is the site of the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, according to The Guardian. One senior U.S. official, who said the intelligence community was "shocked" when it pinpointed bin Laden in Abbottabad, described the city as "relatively affluent with lots of retired military."
5. It's home to the man who is currently the most famous Twitter user on the planet.
Sohaib Athar didn't realize it first, but when he sat down at his computer to tweet about the helicopters hovering over Abbottabad, the IT consultant was about to become the poster child for social media's role in spreading word of bin Laden's execution.
Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.