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Osama bin Laden's wife ‘never left hideout in six years’

A Yemeni-born wife of Osama bin Laden said she had been living in the al-Qaida chief's final hideout for six years without leaving the upper floors of the house, a Pakistani intelligence official has said.

The woman is one of three wives of bin Laden being interrogated in Pakistan. Authorities are also holding eight or nine children found at the compound after the US raid.

Their accounts will show how bin Laden spent his time and could offer glimpses into the inner workings of al-Qaida.

The official did not say if the Yemeni wife confirmed bin Laden had also been living there all that time. The woman has been identified as Yemini-born Amal Ahmed Abdullfattah.

A Pakistani official said CIA officers had not been given access to the women in custody.

A security official said she was shot in the leg during the operation and did not witness her husband being killed.

“We are still getting information from them,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Meanwhile, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said bin Laden was “cash-strapped” in his final days and that al-Qaida had split into two factions, with the larger one controlled by the group's No 2, Ayman al-Zawahri.

The official spoke to a small group of Pakistani reporters on Thursday night and two journalists at the meeting told Associated Press what the official said on the promise of anonymity.

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