ISLAMABAD — Al-Qaida has accused Pakistani security forces of detaining the wife of its chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and two other families of the insurgent group’s “martyrs” for nearly a year.

In a statement, the leadership of al-Qaida on Friday alleged “treacherous Pakistani forces” captured Zawahiri’s wife and others as they left the former Taliban stronghold of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan about a year ago due to continuous airstrikes.

It said: "We ... hold Pakistan's government and its treacherous army and their American masters responsible for their criminal acts."

There was no immediate comment from Pakistan.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian, became leader of al-Qaida following the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALS.

He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the region.