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'Pak to repatriate Osama's widows, kids to Saudi'

December 06, 2011 14:32 IST

Pakistan will soon repatriate to Saudi Arabia two widows and several children of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who were captured after he was killed during a US military raid in the garrison town of Abbottabad.

The decision to repatriate the women and children was made as Pakistani authorities had completed their investigation into the US raid on bin Laden's compound in May, the Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported on Monday.

It is expected that bin Laden's family would leave Pakistan in the next two days on a special plane but Pakistani authorities are keeping the date of their travel a secret, the report said.

An official of Pakistan's Interior Ministry told Al-Hayat that Saudi Arabia had agreed to a Pakistani request to allow the women and children to return to the kingdom.

Their return had been hampered by the Pakistan investigation and other problems, the daily reported without giving details.

Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Aziz Ibrahim Al-Ghadeer said he had not received any official directive about the repatriation.

Al-Ghadeer said he had only seen media reports that bin Laden's eldest brother, Bakr bin Laden, had brought the matter to the attention of Saudi King Abdullah.

Bakr has reportedly submitted an application to the king requesting the repatriation of bin Laden's two widows and their children.

Bakr asked for the reinstatement of their Saudi citizenship, which was withdrawn in 1994 when bin Laden refused to return home.

A source close to the bin Laden family was quoted by Al-Hayat as saying that King Abdullah had agreed to Bakr's requests.

The daily further quoted a source close to the Al-Jama militant group, reportedly based in Pakistan's tribal areas, as confirming that it had agreed to bin Laden's family returning to Saudi Arabia.

The hitherto unheard of Al-Jama had warned it would take action if bin Laden's family was sent to the US.

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