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'US unilaterally conducted raid to kill Osama'

October 04, 2011 14:50 IST

The judicial commission probing the killing of Osama bin Laden has recorded the statements of Inter-Services Intelligence officials, who reiterated claims that the US unilaterally conducted the raid against the Al Qaeda leader without the consent of Pakistani authorities.

A statement issued by the Cabinet division said the commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Javed Iqbal had interviewed the interrogation team of a "premier security agency" on Monday.

Official sources said the panel had interviewed officials of the ISI. "The operation was conducted by US authorities unilaterally without keeping Pakistan on board," the statement quoted the ISI officials as having told the commission.

The ISI team gave a "detailed briefing and explained their perspective of the US operation" against bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2.

The briefing "included the background of the information and post-operation investigation findings", the statement said. The commission will conduct further interviews of officials of the "premier security agency" during October 4-6.

The panel had earlier barred at least two of bin Laden's widows and several children from leaving Pakistan. They are currently in the custody of security agencies.

The government has directed the commission to probe how bin Laden's presence in Pakistan went undetected for almost five years, the circumstances and facts of the US operation and any security lapses that may have occurred on May 2 and to make recommendations based on its findings.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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