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CIA will be granted access to bin Laden house

US intelligence forces will be given an opportunity to search for fingerprints and other evidence in Abbottabad.

A Pakistan army soldier secures a street in front of the house in which Osama bin Laden was killed (background).
A Pakistan army soldier secures a street in front of the house in which Osama bin Laden was killed (background).
Image: Anjum Naveed/AP

AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS are to be given the opportunity to further search the compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden lived before he was killed by Navy SEALs, American and Pakistani officials have said.

The CIA will be granted access to the compound in Abbottabad to search fingerprints and other clues.

The move is part of confidence-building measures to restore trust between the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Pakistan agreed to the search after a meeting between Pakistani intelligence chief General Ahmed Shuja Pasha and deputy CIA director Michael Morell last week in Islamabad, a Pakistani official said.

Relations between the two spy agencies were already fractious prior to the raid of May 2, which saw bin Laden killed by American soldiers, following the arrest and detention of CIA security contractor Raymond Davis in January.

Davis had shot and killed two Pakistanis he said were trying to rob him. The CIA initially denied Davis was its employee, saying he was a diplomat.

The Pakistani intelligence service helped secure his release, but the day after his departure, the CIA launched a drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas that the Pakistanis say killed more than two dozen civilians.

Another drone strike followed a high-level summit between CIA director Leon Panetta and Pakistani chief Pasha.

The bin Laden compound in Abbottabad includes a three-storey house where the al-Qaeda chief is believed to have lived for at least five years.

It was not clear exactly when the CIA would visit the facility.

AP

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