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U.S. Warship Responsible For Bin Laden Burial Anchors In Philippines

Sailors aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier "Carl Vinson" shortly after arriving at Manila Bay.
American servicemen aboard the aircraft carrier responsible for burying Osama bin Laden's body at sea are beginning a four-day port visit to the Philippines.

The "USS Carl Vinson" dropped anchor under heavy security at Manila Bay today, marking the first break for the carrier's 5,500 sailors, pilots, and crew after months supporting war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The crew is under orders not to discuss any details about either the May 2 killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a covert U.S. operation in Pakistan or his burial in the North Arabian Sea the same day.

Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, the commander of the group which supports the Carl Vinson and its support ships, declined to comment on the burial but said morale was high.

Pentagon officials have said that bin Laden's body was placed in a weighted bag, placed on a flat board, and tipped into the sea after prayers were read.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and senior government officials have visited the warship.

compiled from agency reports