The Danish ambassador, his wife and a security officer were detained by the Abbottabad police for allegedly trying to visit slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s compound without a permit, informed sources told The Express Tribune.
Ambassador Uffe Wolffhchel, his wife Susie Andersce-Ruff and their security officer identified as Alla Diat were detained in Bilal Town on Tuesday. The three, along with a Pakistani driver, were moving towards Bin Laden’s compound situated close to the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul, when they were stopped by the police.
The detainees were, however, released after an hour, following the intervention of some high-ups in Islamabad.
“They were released when we, as well as intelligence agencies, learnt that they had valid travel documents,” District Police Officer Abbottabad Engineer Kareem Khan told The Express Tribune.
“The police asked for identification or valid documents but they evaded the questions, saying they were visitors and just wanted to see the compound,” said an informed source, adding that their ‘unusual movement’ was enough to make the authorities suspicious. The police and intelligence officials escorted the three to the Nawanshehr police station, about two kilometres from Bilal Town.
SHO Gulzar Khan confirmed that the couple was taken into custody for not having permission from the interior ministry, which is mandatory for such a visit.
Following the US raid at Bin Laden’s compound on May 2, the government has banned the movement of all foreigners without permission from the interior ministry in the now-prominent area, due to security reasons.
The ambassador, his wife and the security officer were allowed to return to Islamabad once their documents were declared valid.
Informed sources said that the ambassador contacted high-ups in Islamabad who directed the Abbottabad police chief to release them.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.
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