BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed news of Osama bin Laden’s death, saying it would “bring great relief to people across the world”.
“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 in a statement.
“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.
“I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation,” he added.
Those sentiments were echoed by other world leaders.
The killing was “good news for all men in the world who think freely and are peaceful,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said it was “a victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty”.
France’s Foreign Minster Alain Juppe described bin Laden’s death was a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism”.
Israeli leaders have hailed the death bin Laden, with the premier congratulating the US on “a victory for justice”.
“The state of Israel joins together in the joy of the American people after the liquidation of Bin Laden,” a statement from the premier’s office said.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates US President Barack Obama for this victory for justice, liberty and the common values of democratic nations which fought side by side against terrorism.”
The Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper also welcomed the news. Canada lost 24 citizens in the 9/11 attacks.
“Canada receives the news of the death of Osama bin Laden with sober satisfaction,” Mr Harper said.
“We will continue to stand firm with our allies against the threat of global terrorism.
“Bin Laden’s death does not end the threat of international terrorism. Sadly, others will take his place.”
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the world was a safer place without bin Laden and his death brought justice to families of those killed in attacks he masterminded.
“Osama bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, including New Zealanders, in several different parts of the world,” Key told reporters.
“While his removal will not necessarily bring an immediate end to terrorist activity, I have absolutely no doubt that the world is a safer place without Osama bin Laden.”
Former British prime minister Tony Blair said the fight against terrorism remained as urgent as ever.
Blair said bin Laden’s death was a huge achievement and showed that the perpetrators of atrocities would be brought to justice, no matter how long it took.
Blair was Britain’s prime minister at the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US and the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings in London.
His steadfast support for Washington following the 2001 atrocities, placing Britain as the United States’ key ally in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, in many ways shaped his 10-year premiership.
“My heartfelt gratitude to President Obama and to all of those who so brilliantly undertook and executed this operation,” Blair said in a statement.
“We should never forget 9/11 was also the worst ever terrorist attack against UK civilians, and our thoughts are with all those – American, British and from nations across the world – who lost their lives and with their loved ones who remain and who live with their loss.
“9/11 was an attack not just on the United States, but on all those who shared the best values of civilisation.
“The operation shows those who commit acts of terror against the innocent will be brought to justice, however long it takes.
“So this is a huge achievement in the fight against terrorism but we know the fight against the terrorism and the ideology that bin Laden represents continues and is as urgent as ever.”
The al-Qa’ida mastermind was killed today in a firefight with covert US forces in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, northeast of the capital Islamabad.
His death marks the biggest triumph yet in the 10-year US war against terrorism launched after the September 11 attacks.