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News that Al Qaeda leader has been killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan sparks global reaction
World leaders are praising the news that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, has been killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.
President Barack Obama said in a televised address from the White House late Sunday night that U.S. officials were in possession of bin Laden’s body following a targeted operation reportedly carried out by Navy Seals in Abbottabad, north of Islamabad.
Pakistan issued a statement confirming the death of bin Laden, and saying that it was not involved in the raid.
The killing of bin Laden "illustrates the resolve of the international community including Pakistan to fight and eliminate terrorism. It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world," said the Pakistan government's official statement.
"It is Pakistan's stated policy that it will not allow its soil to be used in terrorist attacks against any country," the statement said.
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki called bin Laden's death an "act of justice" for the victims of an Al Qaeda bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in 1998 that killed more than 200 people, AFP reports.
"On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Kenya I commend all those people behind the successful tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden," Kibaki said in a statement. "His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the death of bin Laden as "important news" and called on the Taliban to hold back on fighting.
"The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting," Karzai said during a televised news conference, Reuters reports.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the death of bin Laden “will bring great relief to people across the world.”
“Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen — for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British,” Cameron said in a statement, the BBC reports.
“It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror,” Cameron said.
India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram highlighted “with grave concern” the news that bin Laden was killed “deep inside Pakistan,” saying it proved that terrorists are continuing to find shelter in Pakistan, including those responsible for the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.
“This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan,” Chidambaram said in a statement. “We believe that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, including the controllers and handlers of the terrorists who actually carried out the attack, continue to be sheltered in Pakistan.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the killing of bin Laden as a “resounding triumph” for the U.S. and its allies.
“This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism,” he said in a statement, Reuters reports.
Canada reacted “with sober satisfaction” to the news of bin Laden's death, according to a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
While bin Laden's death "secures a measure of justice" for families of the victims of 9/11, which included 24 Canadians, it "does not end the threat of international terrorism," Harper said. "Sadly, others will take his place."