Bin Laden kin barred from leaving Pakistan

Bin Laden kin barred from leaving Pakistan
Islamabad, July 7— A Pakistani commission investigating how Osama Bin Laden lived undetected for years in the country has ordered the government not to repatriate his surviving family without its consent.

Islamabad, July 7— A Pakistani commission investigating how Osama Bin Laden lived undetected for years in the country has ordered the government not to repatriate his surviving family without its consent.
Pakistan took custody of the Al-Qaeda leader’s two widows and around 10 of their children, after US Navy SEALs killed him and flew off with his body from the army town of Abbottabad on May 2. Pakistan has given CIA agents access to the wives but the commission’s move is likely to delay their departure, after an official recently confirmed to AFP that the youngest widow, Amal Abdulfattah, could return to Yemen within days. “The ministry of interior and ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) have been directed to ensure that the family of Osama Bin Laden is not repatriated from Pakistan without the consent of the commission,” the commission said.
At the same time, the United States plans to keep using an airstrip inside Pakistan for non-lethal drone flights against militants near the Afghanistan border despite demands from some Pakistani officials that Washington vacate the base, three US officials said. The airstrip at Shamsi in Baluchistan will continue to be used for some drone surveillance operations, while the CIA, which is principally responsible for the missions, is already using facilities in Afghanistan to launch some armed drone aircraft strikes on targets over the border in Pakistan. “The facility remains fully operational and supports American counterterrorism operations in Pakistan,” one of the officials told Reuters Monday.
But the official added: “If, for whatever reason, it was no longer available, there are certainly other ways to continue the program and to sustain the intense pressure it’s put on Al-Qaeda and its militant allies.”
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops backed by attack helicopters clashed with Taliban fighters in the main town of the notorious North Waziristan tribal district on Wednesday, witnesses and officials said.
The rare clashes came one day after a bomb killed three Pakistani soldiers and although military officials confirmed troops were in action, there was no sign it was the start of a major operation, long demanded by the Americans.
–— Agencies