'Hale and hearty' Osama was living in urban Pakistan for seven and half years
Islamabad, May 7(ANI): Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden had left Pakistan's tribal areas sometime in 2003, and had been living in the country's northern urban regions since then, his Yemeni widow has revealed.
The Al Qaeda founder, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed in a top secret operation involving a small team of US Special Forces in Abbottabad city, located 50 kilometres northeast of Islamabad and 150 kilometres east of Peshawar.
Pakistani investigators involved in piecing together Bin Laden's life during the past nine years said that he had been living in Pakistan's urban centres longer than previously believed, The New York Times reports.
Two Pakistani officials with knowledge of the continuing Pakistani investigation said that Bin Laden's Yemeni wife Amal al-Sadah- one of three wives now in Pakistani custody since the raid on Monday- told investigators that the world's most wanted terrorist had earlier lived near Haripur town in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
She told the investigators that Bin Laden had lived with his family for nearly two and a half years in a small village, Chak Shah Mohammad, a little more than a mile southeast of Haripur, on the main Abbottabad highway, the report said.
She further said that Bin Laden, along with his children and grandchildren, had moved from Haripur to Abbottabad towards the end of 2005.
In retrospect, this means that Bin Laden left Pakistan's rugged tribal region sometime in 2003 and had been living in northern urban regions since then, said one of the officials.
American and Pakistani officials had thought for years that ever since Bin Laden disappeared from Tora Bora in Afghanistan, he had been hiding in the tribal regions straddling the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
"Imagine, this guy was living in our midst in Haripur and Abbottabad for seven and a half years and we all, both Pakistanis and Americans, had been looking for him in the wrong direction," the Dawn quoted one official, as remarking.
The Yemeni woman also told the investigators that contrary to a widely held belief that the 54-year-old Al Qaeda leader required dialysis to treat his chronic kidney ailment, Bin Laden was hale and hearty. (ANI)
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