Islamabad, May 4: The 12-year-old daughter of Osama bin Laden, now in custody with a Yemeni wife of the Al-Qaeda leader, has told Pakistan's ISI officials saw her father shot dead after being caught alive , a Pakistani intelligence official said Wednesday.
The official from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency said up to 12 women and children who survived the US raid on their villa were now in custody.
The child, reported to be 12 years old, “was the one who confirmed to us that Osama was dead and shot and taken away,” said the official.
The child said, as soon as Osama was caught by US security forces, his wife clung to him, but a US commando pushed the butt of his rifle at her to keep her away, Pakistan's Jang Urdu newspaper reported.
Four bodies were retrieved from the daring covert attack, including one of bin Laden's sons, said the official.
Up to three women and nine children, including the young Yemeni woman who was shot in the leg and a daughter of the Saudi-born mastermind, are in detention, he said.
Intelligence officials said the group were being interrogated.
“There are a lot of questions we want to ask them,” another official said.
The Pakistani government said Tuesday that family members of bin Laden were “being looked after” and would be handed over to their countries of origin.
The ISI official said Pakistan had shared intelligence with US agents as early as 2009, which ultimately led to the compound where bin Laden was killed early Monday.
Islamabad is under pressure to explain how Al-Qaeda's top man had been able to live undetected for months right by the country's military training centre, before he was killed by US Navy SEALS.
Pakistan's top foreign ministry official, Salman Bashir, earlier told the BBC: “We had indicated this compound as far back as 2009 as a possible place”.
The ISI official said, its agents had raided the house in 2003 in a failed operation to find Al-Qaeda number three Abu Faraj al-Libbi, before the compound “slipped from our radar”.
Clarifying Bashir's comments on Wednesday, the ISI official said that intelligence provided in 2009 did not directly relate to the suspect compound.
“The intelligence that was provided eventually led the Americans to that compound (but) our information that was provided did not lead us directly to that,” he said.
A US official on Monday said that three other men and a woman were killed in the operation.
Two of the men worked as trusted couriers for bin Laden and the third was believed to be an adult son, the official said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Wednesday stepped up security in the neighbourhood where Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos, sealing off the area after crowds had flocked to his one-time villa home.
Police barred the media and public from the Bilal suburb of Abbottabad, where the Al-Qaeda chief had been living in secrecy in a compound surrounded by towering perimeter walls.
"More than 300 armed policemen have been deployed at the entry points, as well as in the town and close to the house, for security reasons," a local police official said on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.
Just over a dozen army troops were also seen moving into the area and standing guard in front of the house.
Local residents returning to their houses were body-searched and their ID cards checked, with some labourers prevented from going to work in the area, an eyewitness said.
Several hours later, about half a dozen officials arrived in a fleet of three vehicles and entered the building.
There was no word from police and other authorities about their identity.
Senior police personnel inspected the area before the team's visit and journalists were asked to leave. Police officials said earlier that an army general was expected to arrive. AFP