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The world reacts to the death of Bin Laden

While jubilant crowds have gathered in New York to celebrate the mastermind of the 11 September attacks, world leaders also welcome the news but warn that the threat of extremist terror is not over.

A man watches TV screens reporting on the death of Osama bin Laden, seen as the architect behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States, at an electronics store in Tokyo.
A man watches TV screens reporting on the death of Osama bin Laden, seen as the architect behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States, at an electronics store in Tokyo.
Image: Press Association Images

JOYOUS AT THE release of a decade’s frustration, Americans streamed to the site of the World Trade Centre, the gates of the White House and smaller but no less jubilant gatherings across the nation to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden — cheering, waving flags and belting the national anthem.

Ground zero, more familiar these past 10 years for bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” and solemn speeches and arguments over what to build to honor the 11 September dead, became, for the first time, a place of revelry.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” Lisa Ramaci, a New Yorker whose husband was a freelance journalist killed in the Iraq war, said early Monday. “I think it’s a relief for New York tonight just in the sense that we had this 10 years of frustration just building and building, wanting this guy dead, and now he is, and you can see how happy people are.”

She was holding a flag and wearing a T-shirt depicting the twin towers and, in crosshairs, bin Laden. Nearby, a man held up a cardboard sign that said, “Obama 1, Osama 0.”

the news of Bin Laden’s death has also been welcomed by leaders across the world.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent congratulations to President Obama, saying that he had achieved a “victory for justice, liberty and the common values of democratic nations which fought side by side against terrorism”; Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that “justice has been done”, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the news had been met with “sober satisfaction”.

Russia’s Head of Defence Viktor Ozerov has said that the death of Bin Laden is a “momentous success, not only for the US security forces, but also for all those who are working to defeat terrorism”.

Britain and France also welcomed the news – but warned that the impact of Bin Laden’s death, while a psychological victory, may have little practical impact on Al-Qaeda’s operations. Reuters reports that the terrorist group has been operating without Bin Laden at the helm for many years.

“The scourge of terrorism has suffered a historic defeat but it’s not the end of Al-Qaeda,” President Nicolas Sarkozy said;while British Prime Minister David Cameron announced: “This news will be welcomed right across our country… of course it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror”, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has said that the Taliban should learn a lesson from Bin Laden’s killing.

Al-Qaeda has not yet released an official statement.

- Additional reporting by AP

Read more: US official: Bin Laden’s body buried at sea >

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