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Bin Laden's family ordered to stay in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani commission investigating the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden has ordered the government to prevent the al Qaeda chief's wives and children from leaving Pakistan without its permission.

The late Tuesday order was directed in part at Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency, which tends to operate beyond civilian control — a sign that the commission was taking advantage of the unusual public pressure on the security establishment since the raid to push its investigation forward.

But whether the security agencies will pay heed to the panel's demands remains to be seen. Pakistan's history is riddled with commissions and inquiries that accomplished little to nothing — or whose findings were never released to the public — partly due to the military and spy agencies' interference.

Three of bin Laden's wives and several children have been detained since the May 2 American raid on the terror leader's compound in the northwest Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad. In recent days, Pakistani authorities indicated they were about to send the youngest wife to her native country, Yemen.

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