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Pakistan deports Osama family members

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 27, IRNA -- Osama bin Laden's three widows and other family members were deported to Saudi Arabia Thursday night days after they completed their jail term awarded to them for entering and living in Pakistan illegally.

A Saudi special plane airlifted them to the Kingdom, sources said.

They had been in custody of Pakistani security agencies since the U.S. special force killed the al-Qaida chief in a raid on his hideout in Abbotabad in May last year.

The widows, two Saudi Arabians and a Yemeni, were held at a house in the capital Islamabad. They were shifted to Islamabad airport from their house in the Embassy Road in Islamabad.

A large contingent of police had been deployed minutes before they left house for the airport. They boarded a coach from their house at G-6 sector of Islamabad. The police covered all windows of the coach to avout filming by TV cameramen and press photographers who were present in large number outside Osama family house.

The bus was later escorted by police upto airport.

Local media reported that 14 members of Osama family members were handed over to Saudi officials prior to their departure for Saudi Arabia from Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Saudi ambassador to Pakistan was also at the airport on the occasion.

Security measures had also been taken at the Islamabad airport on the occasion of the departure. Local media reported that secret gates were opened for the Osama family at the airport.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi this month had asked for the release of Osama family members, saying that the family members are innocent and should not be punished for what Osama bin laden had done.

Reports said that the Yemeni widow, Amal Abdulfattah, and her five children will later be sent to Yemen from Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan had formally charged them with illegal stay last month. Formal legal proceedings against the women were held inside the house for security concerns.

A local court had sentenced them to 45 days in prison with a fine of 10,000 rupees (110 U.S. dollars) each on April 2 on charges of illegal entry and residency in Pakistan.

The women had already served a month of their sentence prior to the verdict and the judge had ordered their deportation on completion of sentence.

The government had delayed their deportation due to incomplete travel documents. Reports said that Pakistan had also been involved in talks with Saudi authorities for accepting Saudi widows and their children.

Lawyer for Osama Family, Atif Ali Khan said the Yemeni government had agreed to receive Osama bin Laden's youngest Yemeni widow Amal Abdulfattah and her children.

He said he also talked with the Saudi authorities about the deportation of the two Saudi widows.

A commission investigating presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and the U.S. special force operation to kill him had also allowed the family to leave Pakistan as they were no more required for questioning.

The commission had interviewed the adult members of the family as part of the investigation.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80098956



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