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Osama living in Abbotabad for five years: Wife

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 5, IRNA -- Wife of Osama bin Laden has told the investigators that the al-Qaeda chief had been living at Abbotabad for five years, senior Pakistani army officials told a group of reporters on Thursday.

The officials admitted that they were not aware about the US covert operation against Osama bin Laden and that they were not informed at any stage.

The officials said that investigation will be conducted about the failure of the secret agencies to get information about the presence of the al-Qaeda chief. However they said that the role of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) to kill and capture over 100 al-Qaeda members is being ignored.

The officials insisted that the US should have informed Pakistani leaders and there should have been a bilateral cooperation. 'The US should have done what we had done when the (Afghan Taliban leader), Mulla Bradar was arrested,' they said.

Mulla Bradar, the number two in Taliban hierarchy, was arrested near Karachi in a joint Pakistan-US operation in February 2010.

The Pakistani officials said that Pakistan had passed on some secret information to the US. They said several calls from an Arabic-speaking man to Saudi Arabia were also traced, who had talked about the money transfer. They said Pakistani forces will conduct operation had they received any information about Osama's whereabouts.

The Pakistani army officials said that al-Qaeda had been divided over financial matters and Aiman al-Zwahiri had sidelined Osama bin Laden.

The wife of Osama bin Laden told the investigators that she had not gone out of her room for five years and Osama also stayed there during the same period. They said three wives of Osama bin Laden and 13 children are in the custody of the Pakistani authorities.

The Yemeni wife of Osama bin Laden, who received a bullet at her leg, said that Osama had been alive unless she felt unconscious. But a daughter of Osama bin Laden confirmed that her father was shot dead in front of her.

When asked if the US has asked for the hand over of the arrested family members of Osama bin Laden, the military officials said, 'The US seeks custody of everyone,' they said.

The officials said that suspect of the Bali bombing Omar Patik was recently arrested from Abbotabad recently, who had provided useful information but he had no links with Osama bin Laden.

The military officials said that operation was conducted to arrest al-Qaeda leader Faraj al-Libi in 2003 and a man was killed during the raid but Libi escaped and he was arrested the next day in Mardan. 'He had not given any information to us during interrogation but he might have given some tips to the US” they said.

Talking about the performance of the ISI, they said it is impossible to keep any eye on all foreigners in Pakistan. 'Some 7000 visas have been issued to the American nationals,' they said.

The Military officials said that the US military helicopters could not be intercepted by the radars due to latest technology. 'All Pakistani areas are not under the radar coverage,' they said, adding that radars and infantry have been deployed for key installations, including nuclear. 'Such activities cannot be conducted in those areas,' the officials said.

**2050
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30373325



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