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World: Bin Laden's death sparks relief, outrage

By Karl Ritter

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 2 2011 1:00 p.m. MDT

United States military troops watch the announcement by President Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden had been killed, at the USO at Kandahar Airfield, southern Afghanistan, Monday, May 2, 2011.

Kevin Frayer, Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — News of Osama bin Laden's death stirred strong emotions Monday, from a profound sense of relief across much of the globe to outrage among sympathizers who vowed to avenge the al-Qaida leader.

Most world leaders welcomed President Barack Obama's announcement of the helicopter raid on a compound in Pakistan, congratulating the U.S. for killing bin Laden or expressing satisfaction that the search for the world's most wanted terrorist was over.

"This is the fate that evil killers deserve," said outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, deploring the harm that bin Laden did to "the image of Islam and Arab causes."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed "the tenacity of the United States" in its hunt for the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks while Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi called his death a "great result in the fight against evil."

Spontaneous, celebratory rallies broke out in New York City at ground zero, where the World Trade Center towers fell nearly 10 years ago, and outside the White House where Obama announced bin Laden's slaying.

In Afghanistan, where bin Laden was given refuge by the country's previous Taliban rulers, local officials erupted in applause when President Hamid Karzai told them the news.

"(His hands) were dipped in the blood of thousands and thousands of children, youths and elders of Afghanistan," Karzai told reporters, and repeated his claim that that the fight against terrorism should not be fought in Afghan villages, but across the border in hideouts in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed.

But others in the war-torn nation disagreed about bin Laden's legacy.

"He was like a hero in the Muslim world," said Sayed Jalal, a rickshaw driver in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. "His struggle was always against non-Muslims and infidels, and against superpowers."

At the site of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, a man who lost his eyesight in the attack prayed in front of a wall commemorating those killed.

"This is a day of great honor to the survivors and victims of terrorism in the world," Douglas Sidialo told AP Television News. "A day to remember those whose lives were changed forever. A day of great relief to us victims and survivors, to see that bin Laden has been killed."

But Brian Deegan, a lawyer from the southern Australian city of Adelaide, felt a "cold shiver" rather than relief when learning about bin Laden's death on a car radio. He lost his 21-year-old son Josh in al-Qaida-linked bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in 2002.

"I don't gain any satisfaction in his death — nothing will bring Josh back to me," Deegan said.

Outside the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India — one of the sites of the 2008 terror siege that killed 166 — some people didn't believe bin Laden was dead. Others said killing him had made the world a little safer.

"It's a good feeling there is one terrorist less," said Sufyan Khan, a 20-year-old Muslim student.

Those who followed or sympathized with bin Laden expressed shock and dismay, or vowed revenge.

"My heart is broken," Mohebullah, a Taliban fighter-turned-farmer in eastern Afghanistan, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "In the past, we heard a lot of rumors about his death, but if he did die, it is a disaster and a black day."

Salah Anani, a Palestinian-Jordan militant leader accused of links to al-Qaida, said "There will be soon be another leader."

A top al-Qaida ideologue going by the online name "Assad al-Jihad2" posted a long eulogy for bin Laden on extremist websites and promised to "avenge the killing of the Sheik of Islam."

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