x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Osama bin Laden's mother-in-law 'collapsed and died on news of his death'

Nabiha Ossman, mother of Najwa Ibrahim Ghanem, the girl bin Laden married when he was 17, and grandmother to 11 of his children, who lived in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, was in her early 70s and said to have been healthy.

The mother of Osama bin Laden's first of five wives died from shock and grief just days after hearing of his death, a close family member said last night.

Nabiha Ossman, who lived in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, was in her early 70s and said to have been healthy.

"When she heard of Osama's death last week, she immediately collapsed and was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness and died on Saturday morning," the family member said.

"Her sudden death shows the extent of the sadness of the family over what has happened."

Ossman was the mother of Najwa Ibrahim Ghanem, a Syrian teenager who married Osama bin Laden in 1974 when he was 17. She was probably two years younger.

The couple had 11 children but after a life moving from country to country, often on the run, Najwa finally left bin Laden and Afghanistan a few days before the September 11 attacks.

She returned to Lattakia where she lives with some of the couple's children.