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Homeland Security

Pakistani Panel Bars Bin Laden Family From Leaving Country

VOA News July 06, 2011

A Pakistani commission investigating the U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden said the terror leader's family can not leave the country without its consent.

Three of bin Laden's wives and several children have been in Pakistani custody since the May 2 raid. Pakistani officials have said the wives - one from Yemen and two from Saudi Arabia - would be repatriated. Authorities had indicated in recent days the youngest wife could soon be sent back to Yemen.

The four-member commission said late Tuesday, however, it has told the country's interior ministry and Inter-Services Intelligence agency to ensure bin Laden's family members are not sent home without its approval.

Pakistan has a history of probes and inquiries that have been met with interference from the powerful military and intelligence service.

The commission, headed by a Supreme Court judge, is tasked with investigating how bin Laden was able to hide out in Pakistan for several years without being detected. The Pakistani government set up the panel amid public anger over the U.S. raid, which was seen as a violation of the country's sovereignty.

The panel said Tuesday it will carry out a thorough and independent investigation of the U.S. military operation that killed the al-Qaida leader and called on the public to share any information about the raid. The commission is set to meet again next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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