Osama family members to leave Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities have allowed family members of slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, including his widows and children, to leave the country, a media report said today.

A Yemeni brother-in-law of bin Laden has arrived in Pakistan to take away his two Yemeni widows, the mass circulation Urdu language Jang newspaper quoted official sources as saying.

Bin Laden was killed by US special forces in an early morning raid in the garrison town of Abbotabad on May 2 last year. He is believed to have lived in a compound near the elite Pakistan Military Academy for nearly five years.

A commission investigating the US raid and bin Laden`s presence in Pakistan has allowed the al Qaeda chief`s family members to leave the country as they are no longer required for questioning.

The commission`s members had interviewed bin Laden`s widows as part of the investigation.
Three widows and several children and grandchildren of the al Qaeda chief are in the custody of Pakistani security agencies.

The report said bin Laden`s brother-in-law was busy preparing documents for the two Yemeni widows who will be taken back to Yemen. There was no official word on the development.

The daily further reported that bin Laden`s family members had been shifted from a safe house operated by security agencies to an unspecified location in Islamabad.

Police commandos have been deployed to protect them and the family could leave Pakistan in a couple of days, the report said. .

Saudi authorities have refused to accept the Saudi widow of bin Laden, the report said. The US troops had handed over all the family members of bin Laden after the 40-minute operation on May 2.

One Yemeni widow has been quoted by the media as saying that bin Laden had lived in Abbottabad for five years.

Pakistani authorities razed bin Laden`s compound late last month as it had become a security concern because hundreds of people were visiting it every day.

The compound was located just two kilometres from the Pakistan Military Academy, which was attacked with rockets in late January. No one was hurt and the attack only caused minor damage to the wall of the academy.