Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pakistan moves to oust Save the Children's foreign workers

ISLAMABAD — Officials have ordered foreign workers with Save the Children to leave the country after alleging ties between the aid group and a Pakistani doctor enlisted by the CIA to help track down Osama bin Laden.

A spokesman for the group's offices in Pakistan said Thursday that the order was issued by the Interior Ministry. Authorities previously accused the group of helping make a connection between Dr. Shakeel Afridi and U.S. officials, who were looking for someone to help confirm bin Laden's whereabouts in the military city of Abbottabad.

Save the Children has repeatedly denied any role in facilitating Afridi's involvement with the CIA.

The organization said it will continue to work in the country using its 2,000 Pakistani employees. The expulsion order applies to six foreign staff members.

Afridi was picked up by Pakistani intelligence agents shortly after U.S. Navy SEALS killed bin Laden in May 2011 and was later sentenced to 33 years in prison. He had organized a hepatitis B vaccination campaign in Abbottabad in a ruse that U.S. officials have said provided information that helped locate bin Laden.

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