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San Diego-based carrier used for Bin Laden burial at sea

May 02, 2011|By Tony Perry

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson was sent to start  the air assault to topple the Taliban government in Afghanistan and bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

Starting Oct. 7, 2001, the carrier launched 4,000 combat sorties, playing a key role in removing the Taliban grip on the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Now the Vinson, whose home port is now San Diego, has played another significant role in the Afghanistan war: as the platform from which Bin Laden's body was buried at sea.

The burial, Navy officials said, followed Muslim custom, with the body washed and placed in a white sheet.

"The body was placed in a weighted bag," a military official in Washington said. "A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker."

A burial at sea was chosen because no country would accept the remains, the official said.

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