ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan - A Pakistani government official says 17 health workers have been fired for allegedly participating in a CIA scheme to confirm the presence of Osama bin Laden in a northwestern town.
Zafeer Ahmed said Wednesday the workers, 16 women and one man, were dismissed because they failed to inform authorities they were helping Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi with a fake vaccination program meant to obtain the al Qaeda chief's DNA.
The scheme was allegedly carried out in Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed last May by American commandos.
Pakistan detained Afridi after the operation and could charge him with treason. The Pakistani government was outraged by the operation because it was not informed beforehand.
Ahmed is a senior health official in Abbottabad district.