|Rezaul H Laskar,
Islamabad, Apr 27 - Fourteen members of Osama bin Laden's family, including his three widows, were today deported to Saudi Arabia by Pakistan, days before the first death anniversary of the al-Qaeda chief who was killed in a covert operation by US commandos.
The family was taken amidst tight security at around midnight to Chaklala military airbase in Rawalpindi, where a special Saudi aircraft was standing by to fly out the women and children.
Security agencies sent a mini bus to the house in Sector G-6 of Islamabad where the family was being held to transport them to the airport. The widows initially refused to enter the bus in the presence of large number of journalists who had gathered at the house and officials covered its windows with plastic sheets.
TV news channels beamed footage of two smiling women seated at the front of the bus as it drove away from the house. Two of the widows are Saudi nationals while the third, Amal Abdulfattah, is a Yemeni national.
The Interior Ministry, which was responsible for the deportation of the family, said in a statement that authorities had "passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of (bin Laden's) family in pursuance of the court orders".
"The family was kept safe and sound in a guesthouse... They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia", the statement said.
After bin Laden was killed in the garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2 last year, his widows and children were detained by Pakistani intelligence agencies.
A civil court had recently sentenced the widows and two grown-up daughters to 45 days in prison for entering and living in Pakistan illegally. The judge ordered their deportation on completion of the prison term, which began on March 3 when the family was formally arrested. PTI