Image: Mehar Dil Wazir
Anjum Naveed  /  AP
Pakistani pediatrician Mehar Dil Wazir tells how he treated children of two close associates of slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden during an interview at his clinic in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday.
By
updated 6/1/2011 4:46:34 AM ET 2011-06-01T08:46:34

For pediatrician Mehar Dil Wazir, they were a normal bunch of kids, like the dozens of others he treats daily for tummy upsets, coughs and colds. He thought the same about the two men who brought them to his simple clinic, a well-dressed pair who said they were cousins.

But a few days after the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden in this northwestern Pakistani town, intelligence agents told him his child patients lived in the same house with the terror leader. The men who brought them in were bin Laden's most trusted couriers.

"They seemed to be gentlemen," Wazir told The Associated Press on Tuesday, revealing for the first time his connection with bin Laden. "And the kids were good looking and healthy."

Story: Pakistan forms commission to probe bin Laden raid

The intelligence agents told the 67-year-old doctor they traced him from prescriptions he had written that were found in the bin Laden house.

They questioned him for several hours and left, satisfied that he did not know the identity of his patients.

Wazir's recollections give fresh glimpses into the life of the world's most wanted man, his family and associates during their time in Abbottabad.

It's a picture that still is shrouded in mystery for the most part nearly a month after bin Laden was shot to death by Navy SEALs.

Polite
The doctor said the men told him their names were Arshad and Tariq, the same names they gave to neighbors living next door to the bin Laden hideout.

Both men apparently lived there with their families, looking after bin Laden and his three wives and children who inhabited the upper story of the house. The bin Ladens, at least the adults, were never seen outside the high-walled compound.

Neighbors said there was little remarkable about the two men — they were polite, but didn't talk much to others in the neighborhood.

Wazir's recollections also suggest they were good at blending in and living an anonymous life even as they sheltered the al-Qaida chief.

Slideshow: After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound (on this page)

He said the two men had brought in several girls and boys, all under the age of five, over the last three years. He said he didn't remember treating them for any serious illnesses.

Pakistani authorities either do not know or have not released any information on the lives of Arshad and Tariq, or even whether they were among the four men and one woman killed by U.S. commandos who flew into Abbottabad from across the border in Afghanistan.

Story: Amid bombings, Pakistan turns to conspiracies

U.S. officials have said that traced from a cell phone calls made by Arshad, also known as Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, led the CIA to the Abbottabad about a year ago.

Wazir said Arshad and Tariq told him the children were theirs. Bin Laden was known to have fathered several children while on the run with his Arab wives.

Wazir said the children did not appear to be Arabs, but said that below the age of five it would be hard to differentiate between Arab children and those native to northwestern Pakistan.

Veiled woman
He said a woman once came to the clinic with the children. She wore a veil as do many women in northwest Pakistan, but spoke the local language like a native.

"I never suspected anything, but if it is a small child, I cannot say whether they are Arabs or Pakistanis," said Wazir, who spoke as he was examining a 4-year child suffering from a fever at his two-room clinic.

Bin Laden's wives and children are in Pakistani custody. The government says they will be returned to their country of origin, but has not said how many family members and other women and children living in the compound it is holding.

Video: Pakistan allows CIA to search bin Laden compound (on this page)

One of most well known pediatricians in Abbottabad, Wazir charges $6 for a consultation, more than many others.

The men told Wazir they came from Tangi in Charsadda district, also in the northwest.

Arshad listed the same village on documents he signed when he bought the house. Residents and authorities in Tangi say they have no record of anyone by that name, or fitting his description.

Wazir said he was shocked to know that Arshad had links with bin Laden but said "his conscious is clear."

"I would have told them I will not treat your children," he said when asked what he would have done if he had known about the men's terrorist links.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Pakistan allows CIA to search bin Laden compound

Photos: The compound

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  1. Pakistani boys while demolition takes place on the compound where Osama bin Laden was slain in 2011 in the northwestern town of Abbottabad on Feb. 26, 2012.

    More photos from Abbottabad one year after Osama bin Laden (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. An aerial view shows the residential area of Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. commandos. (Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A general view of the town of Abbottabad, May 6. Bin Laden was living in a large house close to a military academy in this garrison town, a two-and-a-half hour-drive from the capital, Islamabad. (Khaqan Khawer / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami rally to condemn the killing of bin Laden, in Abbottabad on May 6. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A Pakistani woman photographs her daughter on May , at a gate of the compound where bin Laden was caught and killed. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. School girls pass by armed Pakistani policemen guarding the sealed entrance to the compound in Abbottabad, May 5, in which bin Laden had been living. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Part of a damaged helicopter rests in the compound after U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed bin Laden, May 2, in a photo made available on May 4. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Boys herd sheep past the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pakistani security officials arrive at the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad on Wednesday, May 4. (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Local residents gather outside a burned section of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A Pakistani police officer gestures at a checkpoint along a road leading to a house where bin Laden was captured and killed in Abbottabad. Area residents were still confused and suspicious about bin Laden's death, which took place before dawn on Monday. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Pakistani children look out from a high vantage point at bin Laden's compound on Tuesday, May 3. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Pakistan army troops remove canvas screens from outside the compound's house. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Neighbors and news media gather around the compound, right, after authorities ease security around the property. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A satellite image, taken June 15, 2005, shows the Abbottabad compound, center, where bin Laden was killed in on Monday. (DigitalGlobe via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A Pakistani soldier secures the compound. (T. Mughal / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. The compound is seen in flames after it was attacked early May 2 in this still image taken from cellphone video footage. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Part of a damaged U.S. MH-60 helicopter lies the compound. The helicopter was destroyed by U.S. forces after a mechanical failure left it unable to take off. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A still image from video obtained by ABC News shows blood stains in the interior of the house where bin Laden was killed. (ABC News via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Aerial views released by the Department of Defense show the area in Abbottabad in 2004, left, before the house was built, and in 2011, right. (Department of Defense via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A graphic released by the Department of Defense shows the compound where bin Laden was killed. (Department of Defense via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Pakistani soldiers and police officers patrol near the house, background, where bin Laden had lived. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The hideout of bin Laden is seen the day after his death. (Farooq Naeem / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Students look toward the compound from a nearby religious school in Abbottabad. (Faisal Mahmood / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Pakistani security officials survey the walls of the compound where bin Laden was killed. The outer walls were between 10 and 18 feet high. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Pakistani soldiers stand guard near the compound May 2. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Boys collect pieces of metal from a wheat field outside bin Laden's house, seen in the background, on May 3. People showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that the U.S. says malfunctioned and was blown up by the American team as it retreated. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Pakistani security officials stand guard at the main entrance to the compound on May 3. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. An image from video seized from the walled compound of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, and released by the U.S. Department of Defense, shows Osama bin Laden watching TV. He is said to have spent his last weeks in a house divided, amid wives riven by suspicions. On the top floor, sharing his bedroom, was his youngest wife and favorite. The trouble came when his eldest wife showed up and moved into the bedroom on the floor below. (Department of Defense via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
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    Above: Slideshow (29) After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound - The compound
  2. Image:
    Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (81) After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound - World reaction
  3. Brian Fairrington / Politicalcartoons.com
    Slideshow (23) Osama bin Laden is Dead
  4. Daryl Cagle / MSNBC.com, Politicalcartoons.com
    Slideshow (10) Osama and Obama

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