U.S. to continue strikes on al-Qaida after death of bin Laden

08:37, May 03, 2011      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that strikes on terrorist network al-Qaida will not end with the death of its leader Osama bin Laden.

Noting that the group's "syndicate of terror" does not end with its leader's death, the top U.S. diplomat vowed to pursue relentlessly the murderers all over the world.

Speaking about bin Laden's death at the State Department, Clinton said that her department has worked to forge a "worldwide anti-terror network," and that U.S. close cooperation with Pakistan has helped put unprecedented pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership.

"Continued cooperation will be just as important in the days ahead, because even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden," Clinton said.

She vowed to continue taking the fight to al-Qaida and their Taliban allies in Afghanistan while working to support the Afghan people as they build a stronger government and begin to take responsibility for their own security.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday announced the death of bin Laden almost 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Earlier Sunday, U.S. forces launched "a targeted operation" against a compound outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, and later confirmed that bin Laden was among those killed in a firefight.

As the international community was congratulating Obama on what they call a victory for all, some also warned of possible retaliation from al-Qaida.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, while responding favorably to Obama's announcement, said on Monday: "The death has been confirmed. But this does not mean that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have been eradicated."

Kan had instructed government authorities to step up their anti- terrorism efforts.

The South Korean government said Monday that it welcomes and supports the efforts by the U.S. government through its operation to eradicate terrorism. The country's Foreign Ministry has asked its 155 overseas missions, especially those in Afghanistan and the Middle East region, to be on high alert against possible terrorist attacks.

Spanish Vice President and Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba on Monday valued the news of the death of bin Laden, saying it was a major breakthrough in the war against terror, but warned it did not mean an end to war, nor would it mean that the Spanish troops operating in Afghanistan would be brought home.

Spain's Embassy in Pakistan has been placed on high alert for fear of reprisals and Spanish nationals in the country have been advised to limit their movements as a precautionary measure.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Sunday night that bin Laden's death has brought justice for the 24 Canadians who were killed during the attacks in the United States 10 years ago.

"Canada receives the news of the death of Osama bin Laden with sober satisfaction," Harper said, adding the threat of international terrorism continues, which is why Canadian military personnel remain in Afghanistan.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned Monday against excessive optimism over bin Laden's death as the struggle against terrorism was not ended with the killing of the al-Qaida leader.

"We should not go over to undue optimism. Nothing is completely resolved. Al-Qaida exists. There are second (faces) and other organizations," France's top diplomat said.

"The fight against terrorism, extremism and radicalism is not finished. You know France is still menaced particularly in the Sahel," Juppe added.

Earlier in the day, the French presidential office has hailed the killing of bin Laden as a "major event" in the fight against terrorism. It praised U.S. tenacious effort in the fight but also called on all states to continue the pursuit.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday welcomed the death of bin Laden. He said the security services are on alert even though there are no signs of reprisals in the Netherlands. "There are plenty of fools willing to do the most terrible things."

Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said bin Laden's elimination was a "serious political success for the United States." He warned, however, that this would not automatically weaken al-Qaida.

"Politically this is a big success, but I don't think it will considerably weaken al-Qaida, which is a network of loosely-connected cells," Klich said.

He added that bin Laden's killing could evoke retaliation attacks in some Western countries, but stressed that there were no signs that Poland was threatened.

The France-based international police organization Interpol warned on Monday that member countries should take extra vigilance against retaliation after the killing of bin Laden.

Bin Laden, born in Saudi Arabia in 1957 and widely seen as the kingpin of global terrorism, was held responsible for a string of anti-American attacks, including the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Source: Xinhua
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