Osama family in Saudi `on humanitarian grounds`

Saudi Arabia has allowed the three widows and children of slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden entrance into the kingdom.

Jeddah: Saudi Arabia has allowed the three widows and children of slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden entrance into the kingdom on humanitarian grounds, a Saudi-owned daily reported on Saturday.

Citing a senior Saudi official, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat said the kingdom "dealt with bin Laden`s wives on humanitarian grounds”, adding that authorities were confident that they and the children "were not involved in" the operations of the extremist group.

The widows -- two Saudis and a Yemeni -- arrived on Friday with their 10 children, after being expelled from Pakistan, Mohammed Naji Allaw, head of the Yemeni non-governmental group Hood, said.

Saudi Arabia has kept totally silent on the issue and so far has not officially confirmed their arrival.

Yemen`s Ambassador to Islamabad, Abdo Abdulrahman, however told the newspaper that "bin Laden`s family arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday morning ... On a private plane provided by the bin Laden family”.

He said Amal al-Sadaa, the Yemeni wife who fathered five of bin Laden`s children and is said to have been his favourite, left Pakistan on Yemeni travel documents and "could return to Yemen" after a brief visit with her husband`s extended family.

The senior Saudi official told the daily Saada was granted "a visitor`s visa to pass through Saudi Arabia”.

Allaw said on Friday that preparations for Sadaa`s return to Yemen were already underway.

Hood, which deals with human rights cases in Yemen, especially those concerning children, has been tasked by the widow`s brother, Zakaria Abdulfattah al-Sadaa, with looking after her case.

Last week, family lawyer Atif Ali Khan said Sadaa and her children might be sent to Yemen after Saudi Arabia.

PTI

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