- Al-Qaeda founder and leader Osama Bin Laden is dead, US President Barack Obama has announced
- US forces took possession of Bin Laden's body after "a firefight"
- He was discovered living in a compound in a town some 100km from Islamabad
- His body has been buried at sea
- Follow live coverage on
- Live page reporters: Aidan Lewis, Michael Hirst, Yaroslav Lukov, Matthew Davis, Matthew Danzico, Daniel Nasaw, Becky Branford and Stephanie Holmes
- All times BST (GMT+1)
Thanks for following the latest developments with the BBC. This is the end of Monday's minute-by-minute coverage of the global reaction to the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Tuesday's coverage will resume shortly.
In a rare statement on any unilateral military operation by a member country, the Security Council also urged all nations to remain vigilant and intensify their efforts to bring all perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism to justice.
A quick recap on tonight's reactions to Osama Bin laden's death: The UN Security Council has welcomed the killing, calling it a "critical development in the fight against terrorism".
tweets: "Bin Laden is dead," (CIA chief Leon) Panetta wrote in a memo to CIA staff. "Al-Qaida is not."
More reaction from the UN Security Council (see 2236 entry). The council urges all nations to remain vigilant and intensify their efforts to bring all perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism to justice.
tweets: "Osama Bin Laden has been found when the elections are near. Coincidence Obama?"
Lia in New Jersey, writes: "It feels good to be an American citizen today. Not simply because we kept firm in our promise to bring down a terrorist icon, but because the world feels just a little bit safer. What has happened in the past can finally be laid to rest. We can concentrate, now, on fortifying efforts to continue conquering world terrorism; rebuilding peace and prosperity across all walks of life, all cultures and for every person in the world who deserves life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
PJ Crowley, who was a US State Department spokesman until recently, tells the BBC: "A year-and-a-half ago, Secretary Clinton was in Islamabad. I was with her and she mused out loud that it was hard for her to conceive that no-one in the Pakistani government knew where Bin Laden was. And now that we see that he's in a compound close to retired military officers or to a garrison and a school, that question will come back up yet again."
tweets: " wow. PHOTO: Obama and team watching video feed of Bin Laden raid http://bit.ly/k38eV0"
Sir Christopher Meyer, who was Britain's ambassador to the US during 9/11 attacks, warns what might happen next after the death of Bin Laden. "At this moment of triumph, I think there are two worms of doubt which we must not ignore. One is whether his death will actually excite extremism in certain quarters of the Islamic world among Jihadists. And secondly, we have no idea yet, I don't think, what the impact is going to be in Pakistan. Given that the Pakistanis get very, very irritated when they think that their sovereignty is being abused by American military action which crosses the border from Afghanistan," Sir Christopher tells the BBC's Newsnight programme.
The White House has just released photos of President Obama and other top US officials watching in real-time as the operation in Abbotabad unfolded.
tweets: "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind... vengeance is not going to bring anyone back. #binladen"
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan in New York says that there is now increased security throughout the city as New Yorkers return home from work.
The UN Security Council welcomes the death of Bin Laden, describing it as a "critical development" in the fight against terrorism, according to the AFP news agency.
John Brennan, President Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, describes nervous moments as the Pakistani military - realising that something was happening at the compound in Abbottabad - began to scramble jets. Mr Brennan also confirms that the dead during the operation included one of Bin Laden's sons.
tweets: "Instead of acting like journalists and demand evidence besides bold claims, world media go for making a quick buck on the #binladen news."
Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Hasan, says his government helped the Americans in tracking down Bin Laden. Mr Hasan tells the BBC Newsnight: "The Pakistani government was throughout co-operating with the American intelligence and they had been monitoring his (Bin Laden's) activities, so did the Americans. And they kept a track of him from Afghanistan into Waziristan and then into Afghanistan again and then again into north Waziristan. But when he found that it was becoming difficult for him to keep on his movements there he moved into this Abbottabad and that is where he made his mistake."
tweets: "Is it just me that thinks that the body of #binladen being disposed of at sea so soon is kind of suspicious?"
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations - America's Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation - says that Muslims in the US are "relieved" by the elimination of Bin Laden as a threat to America and the world. It adds: "As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, Bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al-Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama's clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam."
In London, Downing Street has just issued a statement following a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra. It said: "During the meeting the Prime Minister (David Cameron) updated those present on the full details of the US security operation and reiterated his praise for the professionalism of the US Special Forces team. The group welcomed the (US) President's announcement and agreed it was an important step forward in the fight against terror. The group also discussed the potential impacts of the incident. They agreed to continue to make every effort to counter terrorism and extremism."
Islam, a history student at Cairo University in Egypt, says he is feeling "sad" after learning that Bin Laden has been killed. "He is in my opinion a hero, an Islamic hero. I don't agree with all his ideas but I think generally he is a hero," Islam tells the BBC.
Angela from Dallas, USA, writes: "My husband is getting ready to go to Afghanistan on the fifth. So the news of Bin Laden is bittersweet, not knowing the safety level over there scares me and my family. So before you scream out words of happiness and wave our flags in the face of Al-Qaeda think of the men and women that are still at risk. Pray for peace."
CBS Radio's Mark Knoller
tweets: "US treated OBL's dead body with more regard than he treated thousands of American live bodies."
tweets: "The world celebrates the death of #Osama #BinLaden. No doubt he was a bad man. However celebrating the death of a person sounds so inhumane."
The killing of Bin Laden means that Barack Obama "is probably getting re-elected" next year, writes an analyst
in this piece
in the Economist.
The BBC's Mark Mardell
that while the US was riven by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most Americans will see the killing of Bin Laden very simply, as an act without shades of ambiguity: "The good guys shot the bad guy dead."
CNN reports US authorities are expecting the release of a new audio tape recorded by Osama Bin Laden to be broadcast after his death - a recording his supporters will call a "martyr tape".
The Pentagon has video of Bin Laden's burial at sea and will probably soon release it, the Associated Press reports.
Ebrar from London, writes: "Most of the rich people in Abottabad have high walls and barbed wires around their house. I had land in Abottabad with walls and barbed wire, so no one can jump in and play cricket or use it. Abottabad is a military garrison town, everyone lives near it. Military are everywhere."
At Ground Zero in New York, Vinny Mosca, who lost an aunt in the 9/11 attacks, tells the BBC's Matt Frei: "After hearing the news last night I was finally very happy. We finally caught the man who murdered my aunt. I want to say thank you to President Obama, thank you to President Bush, and thank you to all our military for a job well done. I'm just happy we got him and we finally got pay-back. Even though it took 10 years, it was 10 well-worth years. You can't live life in fear, you can't let them win."
Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, wants to know how Bin Laden could live undetected so close to Pakistan's capital and next to a major military installation. He notes President Obama has requested $3bn (£1.8bn) in foreign aid to Pakistan next year. "Before we send another dime, we need to know whether Pakistan truly stands with us in the fight against terrorism," Mr Lautenberg said in a statement.
New York City authorities are investigating a suspicious package in Times Square, Reuters reports. That is about three miles north of the World Trade Center site.
Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic
tweets: "Right now, somewhere on planet Earth, a US Navy Seal is walking around thinking, "I just shot Osama bin Laden in the face." Unbelievable."
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan says a bouquet of white roses has just been laid by the fence at Ground Zero in New York City. "To all those who were lost that fateful day, you will never be forgotten, in loving tribute," reads the card.
President Barack Obama will speak on camera at 2015 local time (0115 GMT) on Monday, ABC's White House correspondent Jake Tapper says.
Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh has publicly thanked Mr Obama for his decision to send US operatives into Pakistan. "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to open the programme today by congratulating President Obama," Mr Limbaugh said.
The White House says the woman killed when US forces stormed Bin Laden's mansion was one of his wives.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says US operatives moved into Pakistan with a "great deal of confidence". He adds Bin Laden's location had been known for a "long time".
Mr Brennan adds the killing of Bin Laden was not enough to ensure the demise of al-Qaeda. "It may be a mortally wounded tiger that still has some life in it."
Mr Brennan says US forces built a replica of Bin Laden's mansion in order to practise their assault.
US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin says he believes President Obama will be inclined to execute a "robust reduction" of US troops from Afghanistan this summer as a result of Bin Laden's death, Reuters reports.
Speaking at a White House press conference, US counter-terrorism chief John Brennan says Bin Laden tried to hide behind women as US special forces attacked his compound in Pakistan. He added that one woman died while being used as a human shield.
The BBC's Franz Strasser
tweets while on college campuses in Washington DC: "Didn't expect this many college students in Washington to say this is the first time US military actions finally brought success."
"Obama made one of the gutsiest moves of any US president in recent memory," Mr Brennan said of President Obama's decision to sign off on the mission.
Mr Brennan adds that the Pakistani military did not know about the mission until after the US left Pakistan's air space. "We were watching and making sure our people were able to get out of their air space" before Pakistan's military arrived.
"If we would have been able to take him alive, we would have done that," Chief US counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan said of Bin Laden's death.
Speaking in front of the Four World Trade Center building on Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said lower Manhattan had flourished since 9/11. He called the rebuilding process a "rebuke to all of those who seek to destroy our freedoms and liberties".
tweets: "Osama Bin Laden's death causes internet
Senate Foreign Relations Chair John Kerry, a Democrat, said of Mr Obama's decision to sign off on the mission: "This was a gutsy decision by the president. A lot of things could have gone wrong. They didn't."
Bin Laden's death gives the US a golden opportunity to bury the war on terror - a distraction that distorted America's foreign policy for too long, argues
Peter Beinart on The Daily Beast
The BBC's Matt Frei, at Ground Zero in New York, says: "The atmosphere which was jubilant in the middle of the night has become somewhat more restrained... there is no real sense of closure, because people are expecting the threats to continue. There is a fine balance between relief and holding your guard."
The BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell, in Washington, says: "For more than 10 years Osama Bin Laden was not only a symbol of evil, but a frustration, a humiliation. This is a really cathartic moment for America, a shadow people feel has been lifted from them."
tweets: "OBL discussed on America's subways, lunchlines, at bustops, on phones and via letters. New chapter in US Patriotism in reaction."
The US government has photographs of Osama Bin Laden's dead body, and the Obama administration is debating whether they should be released publicly,
Pakistan is coming under increasing pressure from US politicians. US Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joseph Lieberman says Islamabad must prove to the US that it knew nothing about the Bin Laden compound.
More from the US secretary of state: Hillart Clinton says the US remains "committed" to its partnership with Pakistan, according to AP.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says co-operation with Pakistan helped lead US forces to the compound where Bin Laden was killed, according to AP.
Bin Laden's former sister-in-law tells the Associated Press that he would have wanted to die "rather than face justice in an American court". Swiss-born Carmen Bin Ladin, who separated from his brother Yeslam more than 20 years ago, says she believes Osama Bin Laden had powerful supporters who protected and funded him up until the end.
The BBC's Paul Wood, in Kabul, reports: "The Afghan government is pleased Bin Laden is dead, and even happier that he was killed in Pakistan. For Afghan officials it is a vindication of their view that Pakistani intelligence has, for years, supported both the Taliban and al-Qaeda."
tweets: "#BinLaden is dead during the #Arab spring - ironic, as he is no longer relevant #libya #syria #Yemen #Egypt AGREE??"
For almost 10 years, Bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri managed to defy capture, and thus symbolically at least, appear undefeated
writes Maha Azzam
of the London-based think-tank, Chatham House.
The US is now reviewing a large cache of materials seized at the Abbottabad compound, according to Reuters.
There was no indication that Pakistan was aware of the presence of Bin Laden at the Abbottabad compound, US intelligence officials say, according to Reuters.
Bin Laden was buried at sea because no country was available to accept his body, US defence officials tell Reuters news agency.
Mr Obama adds: "The world is safer, it is a better place, because of the death of Osama bin Laden."
The BBC World Service is now broadcasting
a one-hour special
following the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama, speaking from the White House, in Washington, says: "Our country has kept its commitment that justice is done. Today, we are reminded that, as a nation, there is nothing we can't do when we remember the sense of unity that defines us."
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Pakistan's south-western city of Quetta to pay homage to Bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag, the AFP news agency is quoting witnesses and organisers as saying.
There are photos of Osama Bin Laden's death, says the BBC's Katty Kay, at the Pentagon. But, she adds, the White House may fear that the images are too bloody to be seen.
More from the BBC's Katty Kay, at the Pentagon: "A White House official says that they believed that Bin Laden was still actively involved in al-Qaeda and was both of symbolic and strategic importance to the network."
Bin Laden was given a religious funeral before his burial at sea, a US defence official is quoted as saying by Reuters.
The BBC's Katty Kay, at the Pentagon, reports: "A White House official tells me there was no decision to automatically go for a kill. US military personnel are not authorised to kill if a subject surrenders, but because of who Bin Laden was it was widely assumed that there would be a kill. The White House also says it was Bin Laden who 'cowardly hid' behind a woman."
US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin says: "I think the Pakistani army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer, given the location, the length of time and the apparent fact that this facility was actually built for Bin Laden and its closeness to the central location of the Pakistani army," Reuters reports.
Lawrence Korb, formerly director of national security studies at New York's Council on Foreign Relations, tells the BBC: "I think people in the US are going to say - 'What are we trying to accomplish in Afghanistan?'. Now I think the Taliban will be much more likely to negotiate. What you will see is a much more significant withdrawal - beginning this summer - and I think you might see the beginning of negotiations with the Taliban this fall."
The Russian foreign ministry says that: "the elimination of Osama Bin Laden - an odious figure, 'terrorist number one' - is a significant moment in the fight against international terrorism".
Filmmaker Michael Moore
tweets: "Now that Bin Laden's dead, can we put shampoo in our carry-on? Can I keep my shoes on? Can we bring all the troops home?"
Asim, from London, writes: "I hope everyone would be relieved to hear this news. But, don't know why, I am not satisfied and have concerns over the credibility of the news. Many people around the globe surely are waiting for more proof."
US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the announcement of Bin Laden's death as a "watershed" in the fight against terrorism, Reuters reports.
tweets: "I understand the concern of creating a #binladen shrine, but that doesn't make dumping the body at sea any less distasteful or concerning."
The UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox tells the BBC: "We should be careful not to overreact - this is not an organisation that is one-man deep - this is an organisation that is seeded throughout the world."
Gen Jack Keane, the former vice chief of staff of the US army, tells the BBC: "I don't think we made a commitment to the breadth and depth of the al-Qaeda ideological movement until after 9/11."
The BBC's Ilyas Khan in Abbottabad reports: "There was shock and disbelief among the residents of Abbottabad when they woke up to discover that the world's most wanted man had been killed in their peaceful town. But people carried on with business and usual. Market traders opened their stalls and farmers worked in the fields. On merely looking at the scene in the town, the dramatic events of the night before were not immediately obvious."
The foreign minister of Mali, where an al-Qaeda-linked group has staged several attacks, tells the BBC he welcomes Bin Laden's death but warns that there is a risk of retaliation. "We have to be careful - particularly in the next three to six months. We have to be extremely vigilant, because we know that every time al-Qaeda suffers a blow like this it is followed by attempts at revenge," Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga says.
tweets: "This is satisfying: the FBI puts a big red Deceased stamp on #binladen Most Wanted poster http://1.usa.gov/9hTJIN."
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville, in the Afghan capital Kabul, says that the death of Bin Laden may have an impact on the Taliban in the country. "There are two wars in Afghanistan - the US' top priority was to destroy al-Qaeda, the other against the Afghan Taliban. It might now make it easier for the Taliban to come to the table and seek some kind of political settlement to the war."
The Obama officials, who have not been named, add that "DNA evidence has proven that Bin Laden is dead, with 99.9% confidence", according to AP. The officials did not immediately say where or how the testing was done.
DNA testing confirms the killing of Bin Laden, President Obama's officials are quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
Steve Everitt in Tokyo, writes: "This is a TERRIBLE MOMENT for the world... not a great victory. This so-called 'burial at sea' will not bring closure to any of the families of his victims. They will now be haunted for the rest of their lives by doubts caused by the various conspiracy and cover up theories that are now sure to surface as per 9/11.My initial euphoria has now given way to anger and disgust... and this is from a staunch fan of President Obama. We all deserved much much better."
"Bin Laden has gone to his grave with some of his life aims achieved, and some frustrated," the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says. He explains: "Following the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden said he did not care if his life ended now because 'his work was done', having 'awoken Muslims around the world to the injustices imposed upon them by the West and Israel'. But al-Qaeda and its affiliates have failed to remove any Arab 'apostate' regimes, nor instigate a transnational conflict between mainstream Muslims and the West."
tweets: "Beautiful scenes from outside whitehouse. 4 more years for president #obama."
More from Mr Musharraf. The former Pakistani leader acknowledges that the death of Bin Laden "will have positive long-term implications," Reuters reports.
GL in the UK, writes: "As someone who worked in the World Trade Center on Sept 11 2001, and lost several good friends on that day, how do I respond to Bin Laden's death? Good question. Tens of thousands of people around the world have died since, due to this conflict, will it stop now Bin Laden is dead? Probably not. The root causes of this conflict have to be addressed at the political not military level. More killing just provokes more killing. A Vietnam term that has crept back into contemporary use is 'mowing the lawn'. The military can endlessly mow the lawn but to little end until the grass stops growing. Every conflict has a political not military ending, those conflicts not so ended just wait for a political conclusion. WW2 ended in 1989 not 1945, Korea is yet to be ended, Vietnam's conflict ended with the introduction of Doi Moi (economic reforms). So farewell Bin Laden, now the polticians need to resolve the crisis."
Speaking from Dubai, Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf says the US raid to kill Bin Laden was "a violation of Pakistan's borders", according to Reuters.
Syed Riaz Hussein, from the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where Bin Laden was found, tells the BBC: "It's so close to our house, it was unbelievable. It defies belief that he was living so close to us and to the military. It is very hard to say whether anyone knew - I didn't and I would pass the area every day."
Charles Wolf, who lost his wife in the 9/11 attacks, tells the BBC that the killing of Bin Laden "is a form of justice". Speaking at Ground Zero in New York, Mr Wolf adds: "I like the fact that we (Americans) did it. There's an immense satisfaction in my heart. I'm happy."
Maajid Nawaz, from Britain's Quilliam Foundation, formed to combat Islamic extremism, tells the BBC World Service that the Arab Spring is providing an alternative narrative to that of bin Laden's al-Qaeda network: "A new narrative is emerging, a democratic narrative. A young, tech-savvy Arab youth is coming out on to the streets and completely by-passing the Islamist ideology and the Islamist way of doing things."
Honor Savage Scott
tweets: "I'm not that into conspiracy theories, but it seems odd they wouldn't take a picture for proof before throwing his body in the sea."
John, in Columbia, writes: "This doesn't add up. You don't kill the leader of the most wanted terrorist group in the world. You capture him. The wealth of information he could provide in the ongoing fight against al-Qaeda is immeasurable. And you don't 'dispose' of his body without detailed autopsy. This doesn't add up. Show me video/photos of his body or it didn't happen."
More from the BBC interview with Mr Clegg. He says: "It is logical to assume... that some characters within the al-Qaeda network might try to demonstrate that they are capable of reaction, that's why we need to remain vigilant".
UK's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tells the BBC: "I actually want to praise everybody concerned who has succeeded in tracking him (bin Laden) down. I have no doubt that, in the long run, the world will be a safer place."
The Facebook fan page
"Osama Bin Laden is DEAD"
has gone viral and has received 320,000 "likes" in the past several hours.
tweets: "Is it just me, or would anyone else like to see some photographic proof, you know just for the gen. principle? Glad but #skeptical."
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at Ground Zero in New York reports: "As people go to work, the fence which rings the construction site has fresh flowers pinned to it in memory of the 2,752 people who perished here. Americans have come bearing signs: 'We got him. God Bless America.'"
Security analyst Ikram Sehgal tells the BBC: "This was an operation that was certainly known to the Pakistani authorities. There is no way that Pakistan's radars wouldn't have picked up the US helicopter." Earlier, Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani said he "didn't know the details" of the US operation.
The US Secretary of State added: "I know there are some who doubted this day would come; who questioned our resolve and our reach. Let us remind ourselves that this is America. We rise to the challenge, we persevere."
Ms Clinton, speaking from the White House, continued: "In Afghanistan, we will continue taking the fight to the Taliban and their allies. Our message to the Taliban - you cannot defeat us but you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaeda."
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said "justice has been done" after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. More to follow.
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at Ground Zero in New York says that on the streets there is a visceral sense of "we got him, it's taken 10 years but we hunted him down". There is a sense of relief tinged with sadness and the memory of the people who died there, and trepidation of what the reaction may be from al-Qaeda, says our correspondent.
Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said the US must now withdraw its troops from Afghanistan: "The killing of Osama Bin Laden has been hailed as a turning point in the 'war on terror'. But if the US really wants to draws a line under these wars, it needs to adopt very different policies from those which it is now pursuing. The US and other Nato forces must now withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. The capture or killing of Bin Laden was a stated aim when the attack began in October 2001 - 'wanted dead or alive' in the words of George Bush."
Imran in Accrington, Lancashire, writes: "Fantastic news. He was one of the biggest reasons us Muslims in the UK and worldwide were vilified so much. Let's hope his death and the soon end of al-Qaeda will bring a new chapter."
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued this statement: "Few will mourn the reported death of Osama Bin Laden, least of all Muslims. Many Muslims will reflect on the 10 years that have passed in which our faith and our community have been seen through the prism of terrorism and security. The Muslim Council of Britain has consistently stood firm against terrorism and violence, and will continue to do so. Today our thoughts must be with the families of all those who suffered in the terrorist attacks around the world as well as of thousands of innocent lives lost in the wars against terrorism."
Haider in Karachi, Pakistan, writes: "How can the Pakistani army not know about the US operation? So what everyone here is saying is that any country can come into our air space, conduct an operation a few kilometres from the Pakistani Army Academy, and Pakistan forces would not know about it? Yeah right. Great news that he is dead though. I'm sure America is a safer place, what about Karachi?"
Khan in Pakistan, writes: "Indeed it is great news that the head of a terrorist organisation was killed. However, as a Pakistani, I feel that there should be solid proof that it was Bin Laden. Why? Because we need to be sure, as our country has paid a huge price for supporting USA - this coming from a person who lost his cousin (a Pakistan Army Col.) recently. Everyday we see so many people being killed by militants/terrorists and thus it is necessary to know that all these operations and occupations produce results. Only time will tell if they do or not."
When asked what would he have done in this situation, Mr Musharraf told the BBC: "If they had asked me, I would have said that Pakistani troops would carry out the operation. We had carried out dozens of such operations. All big al-Qaeda people from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed downwards, how did we catch them? We would use US intelligence because they were better at it, but action would always be taken by our own law enforcement agencies. We did not allow US troops to carry out a single action on our soil."
Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf said the operation to kill Bin Laden "should have been carried out by Pakistani troops". He told the BBC Urdu service: "This is our sensitivity, that no foreign troops should enter Pakistan. Although what has happened is good, I do not expect Pakistani people to be happy at the way our sovereignty was violated."
Mr Panetta told Reuters: "Though Bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must - and will - remain vigilant and resolute."
The director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, has told Reuters news agency that al-Qaeda will "almost certainly" attempt to avenge Bin Laden's death. More as we get it.
Julia Barclay in London writes: "As someone who lived in NYC on 9/11, I cried when I heard the news Osama Bin Laden was killed. I did not cry 'from joy' but simply the emotion of the whole day and time coming back. I remember thinking at the time I never wanted to see this kind of violence inflicted on anyone else ever again. In the NY Times today a survivor of the attack said that while he would be glad if Bin Laden's death meant less killing, he himself could not bring himself to be glad of another death, even if it was Bin Laden. I feel the same way."
Mr Hasan added that he hopes Pakistan's neighbours will not start "a blame game" because Bin Laden was found in Pakistan: "India has always been looking for a chance to pin down Pakistan on something or the other," he told the BBC World Service. "We have to cooperate with each other and tackle this problem as a regional problem and not as Pakistan-specific."
The high commissioner said the fact that President Obama did not thank the Pakistani government in connection with the killing of Bin Laden was perhaps "a slip of mind" in the middle of the night.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's High Commissioner in London, tells the BBC World Service he "wouldn't buy the story that Pakistan would have been kept in the dark" about the operation in Abbottabad: "Pakistani authorities and the CIA and the American intelligence network have always been working 24 hours-a-day, cooperating with each other, sorting out things, so there has been total cooperation between them," he said.
The UK Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, said Britain would remain vigilant despite Bin Laden's death: "Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the murder of dozens of British citizens around the world, including 66 Britons in his attack on 9/11. Today's news of his death is an important milestone in the struggle against global terrorism. But we must continue to battle against the ideology and the organisation of al-Qaeda. In view of the possibility of violent attacks from al-Qaeda or its sympathisers I have directed my department to maintain a high level of vigilance in all UK defence facilities at home and abroad."
K in Islamabad, writes: "Pakistani people are tired of other countries bringing their fights to Pakistan where Pakistanis suffer. Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi national, funded by US to fight Soviets in Afghanistan - to give a short history - doesn't include much about Pakistan."
The US special forces team that hunted down Osama Bin Laden was under orders to kill the al-Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a US national security official told Reuters news agency. "This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture Bin Laden alive in Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia's state-run SPA news agency says the country's ruling administration hopes the death of Bin Laden will bolster the global fight against terrorism: "Saudi Arabia hopes that the elimination of the leader of the terrorist al-Qaeda organisation will be a step towards supporting international efforts aimed at combating terrorism and dismantling its cells," the agency said, quoting an unidentified official.
Kenyan Douglas Sidialo was blinded when al-Qaeda bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing 213 people. "This is quite a huge relief for us survivors of terrorism in the world and a reason for celebration that Osama Bin Laden, finally, has been killed," Mr Sidialo tells the BBC World Service as chairman of a group representing the victims of that bombing. "However, it would have been better if he had been captured so that he could repent his sins and evil deeds he had committed [against] people in the world."
Derek Sozou in London, writes: "No justice. No jury. No body."
M Aslam in Islamabad says the West has been playing a "double game" with Pakistan: "They are currently pretending that Pakistan is their top ally which is not the fact. Actually Pakistan is their requirement till they achieve their objectives in Afghanistan. [Then] they will turn to Pakistan. That is why they are being involved in destabilizing it politically as well as economically. I would like to ask the Western world where were they when Osama was being used by USA against Russia."
Tim Proctor in France writes: "What will be the reaction of the majority of the people of Pakistan once they understand that this operation was carried out their soil by foreign troops? The US have killed Bin Laden but not the perception of the Muslim world that the West is anti-Muslim and their sense of injustice especially with regard to Israel and the West's policies towards that country."
Yemeni activists have urged their fellow protesters not to raise banners of Osama Bin Laden to avoid inviting a harsher crackdown on demonstrations seeking democratic change in the al-Qaeda leader's ancestral homeland. "We expect President Saleh's regime to use al-Qaeda as evidence to confront the protests demanding his departure, but we will expose attempts like this," Meshaal Mujahid, an activist, told Reuters.
Iraq is "delighted" by the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari tells AFP news agency, noting that thousands of Iraqis have died "because of his ideologies".
Mr Burke continued: "Al-Qaeda was always part of a broader phenomenon of Sunni Muslim contemporary militancy. Bin Laden made it the market leader of international jihad. Now he's gone we have to see how that evolves and if somebody else emerges. It may not emerge within al-Qaeda but from outside: another group, another leader in another place."
More from Jason Burke, author of Al-Qaeda, Casting a Shadow of Terror. Bin Laden, he says, is "almost irreplaceable": "He combined an extraordinary talent for propaganda, for oratory and rhetoric with a largely mythical but nonetheless convincing story of a rich kid who gave away his money to live the life of a fighter. As a package there's no-one else who's got it. Zawahiri is older - he hasn't got the looks and charisma of Bin Laden and he is going to find it difficult to communicate in the same way."
Ayman Salama, a retired brigadier general in the Egyptian army and now at the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, tells the BBC World Service that because "the majority of the Egyptian people are moderate people", they mostly "do not believe that Osama Bin Laden properly and correctly represents the peaceful religion of Islam. We do not regret actually, to tell you the truth, that Osama Bin Laden was killed, was assassinated by the secret intelligence agents in Pakistan."
Jason Burke, the Guardian's South Asia correspondent, tells BBC World TV that the demise of al-Qaeda began years ago: "The beginning of the end started a while ago, largely in 2005-06 when it became clear that al-Qaeda's key strategy - to mobilise large numbers of people in the Islamic world - wasn't working. In a sense [his death] was a product of the end of al-Qaeda: without the lack of support which pushed Bin Laden out of areas where he might have been more secure, this wouldn't have happened."
Blaise in Bamenda, Cameroon, writes: "So many people are concerned and expressing doubt about Bin Laden's death because there is no official footage to confirm his death. To them I say: It is rational for the US government not to release the video at this time. Releasing the video might further anger his followers to seek revenge. I don't need to see his body to believe he's dead. The US government would not cook up something of this magnitude."
Former CIA field officer Bob Baer tells the BBC World Service the intelligence sources that led to the operation are unlikely to be revealed. "Intelligence agencies and the military will simply put out disinformation to protect the real sources, which could have been anything from intercepts to the Pakistani government itself." Mr Baer says the death of Osama Bin Laden "is a symbolic victory, and it's a very important one for the US. It's politically impotant for the president. But as having a pragmatic: no, because Osama Bin Laden, since October 2001, was actually head of nothing. He was isolated, he was on the run, he'd shut off his telephones, he wasn't in command of al-Qaeda."
Alex Strick, an expert on al-Qaeda, says it is difficult to say if the Pakistani authorities knew about the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. "At this point it's pure speculation," he tells the BBC World Service. Mr Strick adds that a "violent response" by militant Islamists in Pakistan to the death of Osama Bin Laden is very likely.
Abbottabad police did not have advance warning of the US operation and reacted to explosions at the compound, says the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones. By the time they got there the army were already there and had formed a perimeter. There are unconfirmed reports in Abbottabad that the house belonged to someone who used to carry messages for Bin Laden.
The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says: "The authorities here are hailing this as a huge victory, but the amount of time it took them to react to the news suggests it was as much a surprise to them as everyone else. It is astonishing that the trail to Osama Bin Laden did not lead to a cave, or tunnels in the tribal areas, but here to the beautiful, lush, green hills of Abbottabad ."
In the last half hour the FBI has updated Bin Laden's profile to "deceased" on its
Most Wanted website.
tweets: "Humoured by certain Republican reaction to #OBL refusing to mention Obama. Can't believe body has already been disposed of."
Michaela in Dundee, Scotland, writes: "I am so happy that the American troops have finally managed to get that evil man. He doesn't deserve anything better than death! ...My boyfriend is out there fighting and I truly hope this does not spark more fighting. Troops in Afghan, I Salute You!"
"The news of Bin Laden's death will, I predict, encourage many Americans to believe that the war which began on 11th September 2001 is finally over and that it is time their boys came home,"
blogs the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson.
The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says it was "very significant" the US did not inform the Pakistani intelligence services until after the operation had been carried out: "The US simply couldn't trust the ISI not to tip off Bin Laden's people. It happened before in 1998 when President Clinton ordered the firing of cruise missiles at Bin Laden's camps in response to the bombing of US embassies in Africa. Somebody tipped off Bin Laden's people, the camps were emptied and the death toll was one goat, one shed and a few followers."
As details of the operation in which Bin Laden was killed come in, we are updating our guide,
How it happened.
AFP news agency confirms that Ismail Haniya, the head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, has condemned Bin Laden's killing.
More on the Taliban threat. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location: "Now Pakistani rulers, [Pakistani President Asif Ali] Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target."
The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says: "Bin Laden has gone to his watery grave partly successful, but partly failing. He succeeded in his aim of waking up the the Islamic community - by saying, 'look at the justices being inflicted on you - you have a duty to fight'. But on the other hand, he failed - he and his movement have not been able to replace a single Arab regime anywhere."
AFP is now confirming that Pakistan's main Taliban faction has threatened to attack Pakistan and the United States.
Palestinian militant group Hamas have condemned the killing of Bin Laden, Reuters reports, calling it the "assassination" of an "Arab holy warrior".
The Taliban have threatened fresh attacks on Pakistani leaders, the army, and the US following the death of Osama Bin Laden, Reuters news agency reports. More as we get it.
Tim Sumner, from a group called 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, says he is "very happy to see that our nation has scored this victory". Mr Sumner, who lost a friend and his brother-in-law in the 9/11 attacks, told the BBC World Service that he and his family "are exhilarated. That would be a good word to use. It is a just ending to a mass murderer."
Anna from Petrozavodsk tells
"They celebrate like it is a New Year or something! A symbol of terrorism was killed but all his supporters are alive. They will fight in his name."
Rich Higgins in London, writes: "More whitewash from Washington? They've taken 10 years to find this man, and instead of ceremonially parading his corpse on the world's media they 'bury him at sea'? Believeable? I don't think so, neither should any sane person. I genuinely don't know who's worse in all of this. The lies that have come out of this Western coalition are enough to make you question any statement."
Robert in St Louis, writes: "In Nov 2010, General Petraeus visited the Pakistan Military Academy, only a few hundred meters from Bin Laden's compound. The US intelligence agencies thought Bin Laden might be living in that compound as early as Aug 2010. Petraeus must have been aware that he was probably only a few hundred metres from Bin Laden at the time of his visit."
for the BBC, Middle East analyst Roger Hardy wonders whether Osama Bin Laden could prove as dangerous dead as he was alive.
The BBC's Rahimullah Yusufzai in Peshawar says that the death of Osama Bin Laden means that al-Qaeda cannot now operate effectively as a military operation. "Although Bin Laden will be identified as a martyr, al-Qaeda will not have the same strength and importance," he said. Our correspondent says that Bin Laden's deupty, Ayman al-Zawahiri does not have the same status as him and will inherit an organisation that is "diminished in strength".
Nicola in Llanelli, writes: "My daughter is currently in Afghanistan and this news has done nothing to make me feel she is any safer, in fact I believe she and the other troops may well be in more danger. We need to be on high alert now, not only in Afghanistan, but around the world. Do people seriously believe there will be no repercussions?"
Agha Lalai, a member of the Afghan government council for southern Kandahar province, said Bin Laden's death could make it easier for the Taliban to reconcile with the Afghan government: "I think that now the Taliban will be free to make their own decision, and maybe these peace negotiations will finally have some success. They are also Afghan and we can't fight with them forever," she told AP news agency.
Sean Cassidy, whose son Ciaran was killed in the 7/7 bomb attacks in London, has warned that there are many "young pretenders" to Bin Laden's throne: "He was the spiritual leader, not a foot soldier any more. He was like a supreme being. There are plenty more willing to fill his shoes - all those fanatical organisations have their young pretenders."
The Home Office has confirmed our earlier report that the threat level from terrorism remains at "severe". A spokesman said: "We face a real and serious threat from terrorism. The overall threat level from international terrorism, set by JTAC, remains at 'severe' which means that an attack is highly likely. There is a continuing need for everyone to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police."
The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says: "Bin Laden has gone to his watery grave partly successful, but partly failing. He succeeded in his aim of waking up the Islamic community - by saying, 'look at the justices being inflicted on you - you have a duty to fight'. But on the other hand, he failed - he and his movement have not been able to replace a single Arab regime anywhere."
, the Guardian's South Asia correspondent, tweets: "I'm hearing Shuja Pasha - ISI chief - knew, Kayani - army chief etc - knew. Zardari told as it was happening ... unconfirmed but plausible."
Mr Mamdouh, who went on to open a new restaurant with surviving colleagues, says he hopes that following the death of Osama Bin Laden "we will get more peace". He says he hopes that "what's been going on since 9/11, all the attacks against Muslims and against Arabs and against everybody who looks like an Arab and all the killings - I hope that it will finish today."
Fekkak Mamdouh, former head waiter of the Windows on the World restaurant in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, where 73 staff members were killed in the 9/11 attacks, tells the BBC World Service he is glad that Bin Laden is dead as because of him, "we got into two wars and killed a lot of people in Afghanistan and Iraq".
To check out the range of our coverage of the death of Osama Bin Laden, go to our
special report page.
Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the killing of Bin Laden is a "significant success" for the security of Nato allies, Reuters reports.
Kenya's Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia says that security there is being stepped up in case of reprisal attacks. "We have put our security forces on very high alert to ensure that nothing happens. I think the US should not stop there. They should go ahead and decimate all the cells; all the al-Qaeda cells, some of whom are even nearby, near our country," he said.
We've just published
this fascinating piece
about how an IT consultant was sniffing out the story of the operation in Abbottabad for his Twitter followers as it unfolded.
Paul in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, writes: "I find it hard to believe that world leaders think this symbolic figurehead's demise will in any way weaken the resolve of those who follow his beliefs... As someone living and working in Saudi Arabia, I for one will not be celebrating, I will be more concerned about sleeping soundly at night!"
Ed Miliband MP, UK opposition leader, says: "Osama Bin Laden committed one of history's most appalling acts of terrorism and the world is a safer place because he will no longer be able to command or encourage acts of terror. For the victims of 9/11 and their families, nothing can take away the pain of what happened but this will provide an important sense of justice. Despite the death of Osama Bin Laden, our vigilance against the perpetrators of terrorism must and will continue."
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the UK Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, says: "Osama Bin Laden has been responsible for preaching hatred and using terrorism to kill innocent people around the world and it would have been more suitable for him to be captured alive and put of trial in an international court for the crimes he has committed. Victims of terrorism by al-Qaeda should have had the chance to see him brought to justice.
Ms Shaikh adds: "This is an extremely difficult moment, because there will be a large number of people within Pakistan's military and intelligence establishment who will be wondering whether Pakistan has in some sense outlived its usefulness now in the so-called war on terror, and having outlived its usefulness what can Pakistan's leverage be in demanding a key role in that end game in Afghanistan. All of this, of course, is deeply troubling, and it isn't suprising that the military and political leadership today have had a series of high-level meetings."
Farzana Shaikh, a Pakistan analyst at the Chatham House thinktank in London, tells the BBC World Service: "Many people around the world are going to find their worst suspicions confirmed - that there has been, right from the outset, complicity on the part of the Pakistani state in aiding and abetting Osama Bin Laden." She told the BBC World Service that "the fact that he wasn't found in a cage, but right there at the heart of an academy which in many ways represents the military establishment is of course deeply embarrassing to both Pakistan's political leadership and to its all-powerful, dominant military."
Fazil in Southampton, writes: "There's something wrong with Bin Laden's death. How do we believe he is actually dead when we can't see a video/photograph of him? Why in the world did US bury him at sea without releasing any photos? There are a lot of questions to be answered."
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his "heartfelt gratitude" to President Obama for the military operation which killed Osama Bin Laden: "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," Mr Blair said.
The current threat level from international terrorism in the UK remains unchanged at "severe", a Home Office source told BBC News. The threat was set at this level in January 2010 and there was no indication it would change today, the BBC's political correspondent Ross Hawkins reports.
You can read the thoughts of BBC guest columnist Ahmed Rashid about the remaining threat posed by al-Qaeda in full
The Palestinian Authority has given its reaction: "Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods - the violent methods - that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world," said spokesman Ghassan Khatib according to Reuters news agency.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued this travel advice: "Following death of Osama Bin Laden we advise UK nationals overseas to monitor the media for local reactions and remain vigilant. UK nationals should exercise caution in all public places and avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events."
Prymuz in the UK writes: "No body = no proof. No WMD = no justification for war."
The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, have issued this joint statement: "Osama Bin Laden was a criminal responsible for heinous terrorist attacks that cost the lives of thousands of innocent people. His death makes the world a safer place and shows that such crimes do not remain unpunished... The European Union continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States, our international partners and our friends in the Muslim world in combating the scourge of global extremism and in building a world of peace, security and prosperity for all."
Kiel in Sheffield writes: "Are we going to see a real life video of the body? Why have/would they bury him at sea? Why has he not been shown to the world like Saddam was?"
, the former Home Secretary, tweets: "V good news from Pakistan but a potentially perilous time. Thank goodness for the professionalism of our CT police and security services."
Mr Lelpi, himself a former firefighter, added that he was "more than happy" that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, rather than caught and put on trial. "This is the better way to do it, we don't have to listen to him or anybody else preach about how wonderful they think they are."
Lee Lelpi, who lost his son Jonathan, a New York City firefighter, in the 9/11 attacks, says he started crying when he heard that Osama Bin Laden was dead. He told the BBC World Service's World Today that he cried "tears of joy and tears for those people who were murdered on 9/11 and after 9/11. I was overwhelmed when I heard the news. It will send a beautiful message out to a lot of people."
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague
told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme
that elements of al-Qaeda were "still in business". He said: "We will still have to be vigilant, even more vigilant, in the coming days about the international terrorist threat. The work in Afghanistan will continue to be phenomenally difficult and must go on. So it would be wrong to draw the conclusion that suddenly we have solved a mass of the world's problems."
Mark in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, writes: "Didn't David Cameron just give £650m to Pakistan as an apology for saying they harbour terrorists. Now every world leader and media centre are saying they harbour terrorists. Wow, the Tories just aren't out of touch with Britain, they're out of touch with the whole world."
Bob in Tampa, Florida, writes: "While I can understand some of the negative comments to the reaction of young Americans outside the White House and New York, please keep in mind that this is a decade long struggle against a truly evil entity - those kids were children at the time of the horrific terror attacks and it is a visceral reaction."
She says "Indian officials have spoken plainly: saying this underlines concerns that terrorists find sanctuary in Pakistan. President Obama was more diplomatic. He emphasised that the counter-terrorism operation with Pakistan had helped - framing Pakistan in public as help, not hindrance. Some Pakistani newspapers went further, quoting security officials as saying this was a joint operation. In fact, it seems much more likely that Pakistan didn't even know the operation was planned. That too hints at the fundamental lack of trust between the US and Pakistan. The suspicions raised now will strengthen the hand of those who've always accused Pakistan of playing a dangerous double game."
The BBC's Jill McGivering examines the questions arising from the discovery of Bin Laden in Abbottabad - "an affluent Pakistani town, near the capital Islamabad, a place closely associated with the military". "Could Pakistan's military and intelligence services really not have known he was there? Or is this evidence that the Pakistani establishment, or parts of it, are still supporting Islamic extremists, as its critics have always claimed?"
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan proved Kabul's long-standing position that the war on terror was not rooted in Afghanistan: "Again and again, for years and every day we have said that the war on terror is not in Afghan villages, not in Afghan houses of the poor and oppressed," he tells a gathering of tribal elders. "The war against terrorism is in its sources, in its financial sources, its sanctuaries, in its training bases, not in Afghanistan. It was proven that we were right."
Will in Wales, writes: "One of my strongest memories from 9/11 is people celebrating around the world. I remember being disgusted. Now I have just seen Americans celebrating the death of Bin Laden outside the White House, I am again disgusted. I believe this scene may even incite more hatred and terror against in America and Europe."
More of the statement from Pakistan's Foreign Office: "Osama Bin Ladin's death 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. Al-Qaeda had declared war on Pakistan. Scores of Al-Qaeda sponsored terrorist attacks resulted in deaths of thousands of innocent Pakistani men, women and children." The statement says almost 30,000 Pakistani civilians and more than 5,000 Pakistani security forces have been killed in the last few years. "Pakistan has played a significant role in efforts to eliminate terrorism," the statement says.
A former spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Khaliq Ahmed, tells BBC News he is not surprised Bin Laden was found in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan: "We knew Bin Laden could not be in the Afghan tribal areas - the price on his head was too high. He had to be in Pakistan. We used to tell this to journalists and diplomats but they did not believe us."
A former spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Khaliq Ahmed, tells BBC News he is not surprised Bin Laden was found in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan: "We knew Bin Laden could not be in the Afghan tribal areas - the price on his head was too high. He had to be in Pakistan. We used to tell this to journalists and diplomats but they did not believe us."
Pakistan's Foreign Office has released a statement confirming the operation: "In an intelligence driven operation, Osama Bin Ladin was killed in the surroundings of Abbottabad in the early hours of this morning. This operation was conducted by the US forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama Bin Ladin will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world."
W Norton in the UK writes: "We have to admit that Obama's ratings have been low, he will be hoping no doubt for a resurgence in this department. But there will be many more Bin Ladens hidden around the world, they will not go away. That only happens in fairytales."
The killing of Osama Bin Laden is an "act of justice" for the victims of the 1998 bombings at the US embassy in Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki says according to AFP.
Col Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, tells BBC News: "This is not just symbolic - this is a major setback to al-Qaeda. It shows that the US is strong and al-Qaeda is weak. It is the third major high point of the war on terror. The first was the removal of the Taliban from power. The second was the defeat of Saddam Hussein. And now, the death of Osama Bin Laden."
An official in the president's office of Yemen - Osama Bin Laden's ancestral homeland - welcomed his death, hailing it as "the beginning of the end of terror", reports AFP.
Osama Bin Laden's death is a "victory for the forces of peace," but does not mean extremism has been defeated, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said according to AFP news agency.
The BBC's James Copnall in Sudan's capital Khartoum says a foreign ministry spokesman refused to comment on how the Sudanese government viewed Bin Laden. They're in quite a difficult situation, he says, because they're desperate to get off the US list of countries it accuses of supporting terrorism but they also have a domestic constituency which has some support for Bin Laden. There are some people here who remember him fondly from when he used to live in Khartoum in the 1990s.
William Hague, the UK foreign secretary,
told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme
: "It is unequivocally a good thing that Osama Bin Laden is no longer able to pursue terror, murder and mayhem in the world."
Zeeshan Malik in Islamabad, writes: "Just viewed international media and what is the most shocking and disappointing thing - not a single word of appreciation for Pakistan and its sacrifices... How disgusting! The most sacrifices and efforts against war on terror are by Pakistan. And without support of Pakistan all this success of USA will be near to impossible. At least give a word of appreciation for hundred thousand martyred of Pakistan who were killed in the war against terrorism."
Although in the short term, the Obama administration will be bracing itself for possible revenge attacks, for many the bigger question will be whether in the longer run al-Qaeda can survive, says Middle East expert Roger Hardy. "Since the start of the year, some experts have argued that the uprisings in the Arab world have rendered it irrelevant. They will see Bin Laden's death as confirming the trend."
Associated Press in Washington is quoting a US official as saying Osama Bin Laden's body has been buried at sea.
And the White House official went on: "We soon learned that more people were living at the compound than the two brothers and their families. A third family lived there - one whose size and makeup matched the Bin Laden family members that we believed most likely to be with Osama Bin Laden. Our best assessment, based on a large body of reporting from multiple sources, was that Bin Laden was living there with several family members, including his youngest wife."
The official continued: "The main structure, a three-storey building, has few windows facing the outside of the compound. A terrace on the third floor has a 7ft privacy wall. The property is valued at approximately $1m but has no telephone or internet service connected to it."
More now on the intelligence that led the US to Bin Laden. A senior White House official described the compound where the al-Qaeda leader lived: "We were shocked by what we saw - an extraordinarily unique compound. It is roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. It has 12-18ft walls topped with barbed wire. Internal walls sectioned-off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy. Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates, and the residents of the compound burn their trash, unlike their neighbours, who put the trash out for collection."
Tim in London, says he is reminded of the words of Col Tim Collins to his troops: "If you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory": "The ugly, boastful scenes outside the White House cannot in any way be seen as magnaminous and is unpleasently remindful of flag-burning rallies and hate parades more commonly witnessed in those countries we suspect of being orchestras of terror."
Journalists near the town of Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was found, told the BBC Urdu service that they were seeing an extraordinary level of military movement and activity in the area.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the Taliban to end its violence after the killing of the al-Qaeda leader: "The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting," he said in a televised news conference.
Abbottabad is home to three Pakistan army regiments and thousands of military personnel and is dotted with military buildings, news agency Associated Press says. Bin Laden's discovery there raises pointed questions about how he managed to evade capture and even whether Pakistan's military and intelligence leadership knew of his whereabouts and sheltered him.
Local TV channels in Pakistan say two women, who were brought out from inside the compound, were taken to local hospitals in critical condition. Both were of Arab origin. One is said to have later died in hospital.
BBC Pashto reports: "Just now Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a large gathering at the presidential palace that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, which was cheered with joy. The president added: 'We have always said that the war on terror was not in Afghan villages but outside our borders, and so it has proved once more.'"
Raza S Janjua in Abbottabad, writes: "Abbottabad is normal as a regular day, the roads are fine. My mother is out to get groceries, father's in his office. Only the Bilal Town area is in complete military control - no one is allowed in."
The BBC's Paul Wood in Kabul says officials there believe the violence will go on despite Bin Laden's death: "The Taleban are no longer so closely affiliated with al-Qaeda. In many senses they have split off."
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is on a visit to Egypt, has congratulated the US on "ending the reign of terror of Osama Bin Laden himself". "There couldn't be a greater contrast between what we've seen here in Tahrir Square, people aspiring for democratic change, for peaceful change in the Arab world... and the destructive and murderous approach of al-Qaeda," he said.
Zabiullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan told BBC Afghan Programmes: "We are not saying anything about this story; our investigation is continuing and will talk about it later."
Before his announcement, President Obama spoke to former presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton "to review with them the events of today [Sunday] and to preview his statement to the nation tonight", a White House spokesman said. "The pursuit of Osama Bin Laden and the defeat of al-Qaeda has been a bipartisan exercise in this nation since 11 September 2001."
Ahmed Rashid goes on to warn: "The fear now of random suicide bombings in subway or train stations in the US or Europe is particularly high. So are plane hijackings, bombings of Western military targets and US embassies in the Middle East where they are already a frequent target. Or just the amateur jihadi placing a bomb in a supermarket."
The BBC's guest columnist Ahmed Rashid says Bin Laden's death is a huge blow to extremists, but al-Qaeda today is "loose and amorphous", not the highly centralised hierarchy it once was. "Today al-Qaeda's philosophy is one man one bomb. In other words it does not need another 9/11 to make its mark. One bomb in Times Square in New York placed by one dedicated suicide bomber or one bomb in a New York subway - both attacks were attempted last year - are big enough indicators that al-Qaeda is alive and kicking."
US General Jack Keane told the BBC's Today programme that it was "appropriate" that Bin Laden was killed by US forces. "I'm glad we're bringing a body back [to the US] as to opposed to him walking back," he said.
A senior Afghan counterterrorism official has told BBC Afghan Programmes in Kabul: "This [Bin Laden's death] would have been more significant in 2004, 2005 or 2006 - now it is too late. There is a Bin Laden on every street today.''
A spokesman for Human Rights Watch said: "Osama Bin Laden will never again be responsible for mass atrocities such as the September 11 attacks. His death should also bring an end to a horrific chapter of human rights abuses in the name of counterterrorism."
Prominent Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan has said on Pakistan's Dunya TV that Bin Laden's death ought to mark the end of US military operations in Pakistan, BBC Monitoring reports. "I feel that now that they have killed [him], there remains no justification for this war," he said.
A BBC reporter in Pakistan says the compound where Bin Laden was killed is 800 yards from the premises of the PMA - Pakistan Military Academy - Pakistan's equivalent of British Army officer training centre at Sandhurst.
Haron in Lahore, writes: "I think we all need to ask ourselves if this is the beginning of the end or the end. Osama was not an individual, he was a mindset. I am surprised that the whole world just refuses to recognize that he was just one of the many manifestations of inequality, injustice and insanity that still prevails. We in Pakistan have a far greater insight into the war against terrorism to make jubilations and take the simplistic view that with OBL eliminated, our lives, streets and country is safe."
From BBC Afghan programs in Kabul: Mullah Zaeef, former Taliban ambassador to Islamabad told the BBC, " Osama's killing will not help the ongoing situation for Afghans, I don't think it will do much in the Afghan case, Afghan( peace) need more efforts."
Celebrity news website TMZ
points out that
ironically, Osama Bin Laden's death came on the eighth anniversary of George W Bush's notorious "mission accomplished" speech in Iraq.
Syed in Abbottabad, writes: "Last night, at around 0100, there was heavy gunfire about 300 metres from our house, which was followed by a huge blast. There was little in terms of military activity during the day to suggest something even remotely close to what happened. The exact spot where this incident took place, is a stone's throw from the Pakistan Military Academy, Pakistan's equivalent of West Point."
Reuters have reported some reaction from Jihadist internet forums. "Oh God, please make this news not true... God curse you Obama," said one message on an Arabic language forum. "Osama may be killed but his message of Jihad will never die," said another posting.
Usman Mansur in Islamabad, writes: "How was he living in that compound in the city close to the military base? Pakistani intelligence must have known about it yet they denied it all along."
Mahmoud Salem in Egypt
tweets: "Dear US, u still have that "Mission accomplished" banner? I think it's time to get it out of storage now!"
Official sources in Pakistan tell the BBC Urdu Service that apart from Osama Bin Laden five of his guards were killed in the operation. They have detained four suspects too.
According to locals speaking on Pakistani television from the area where Bin Laden is said to have been killed, Pakistani troops arrived after the operation and they have now completely taken control of the area. There is a search operation going on and no one is allowed in the immediate vicinity.
While Bin Laden's death is "good for the United States reputation, power and influence", his killing "does not end Al Qaeda",
cautions Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times.
He says Bin Laden's death "might have mattered more in 2002 or 2003", when "many ordinary people had a very high regard for Bin Laden and doubted that he was centrally involved in the 9/11 attacks".
And this from an senior Afghan national security official, via the BBC Kabul bureau: ''We always said he was in Pakistan. The fact that this happened 60 miles outside of Islamabad, where military bases are, is what we have always said.''
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has told the BBC World Service that he welcomes news of the death of Osama Bin Laden - who was linked to a bomb attack on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998. "It's a major achievement in the war against terrorism", Mr Odinga said.
French government reaction: "A victory for all democracies against terrorism".
India's Home Minister P Chidambaram says Bin Laden's killing near Islamabad highlights concerns that Pakistan provides "sanctuary" to terrorists - AFP.
Pakistan's Dunya News is reporting that Pakistani troops are searching the site of Bin Laden's death. Troops are also involved in recovering the remains of a Pakistan helicopter that reportedly crashed during the operation, the TV station says.
From Gen Petraeus' office in Kabul: "We have received guidance that the White House has the lead so we have no comment". ISAF (international force in Afghanistan) is directing all inquiries to the White House.
tweets: "Aljazeera correspondent in Kabul says #Osama Bin Laden's body taken to Bagram base. Journalists could be called in to inspect it ."
This from US network CBS: President Obama made decision to undertake raid operation at 8:20am on Friday (29 April) before leaving for Alabama.
Indrajit in Kolkata, India, writes: "People like bin Laden are not born, they are made. By poverty, inequality, discrimination. As long as these are prevalent in the world, I fear killing one Bin Laden won't really solve anything."
Muhammad Adnan Rabbani, in Lahore, writes: "Salute to the Pakistan Army who made it possible, otherwise the US and allies may have killed many more in this ghost hunt."
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Karachi says that US Marines were operating out of a base relatively close to Abbottabad, the city outside which Osama Bin Laden was killed. The base in Tarbela Ghazi is certainly close enough to run the operation from, our correspondent says.
The executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikkow, told the BBC how he had witnessed a spontaneous gathering of people at Ground Zero in New York: "We take a great deal of satisfaction in the news that Bin Laden has been brought to justice. Hundreds of people are gathering spontaneously in the night, just coming from all over the neighbourhood to share the moment of relief that the original architect of that giant mass murder has actually been tracked down in the heart of Pakistan."
More from the BBC's Haroon Rashid in Islamabad: "For those who keep a close on eye on these matters it wasn't a total shock that he was ultimately hunted down in an urban area. In the past we have had reports of him being treated in hospitals in Rawalpindi for kidney problems. There was even one report that he was treated in the southern city of Karachi. All of these were officially denied. Some of the big al-Qaeda and Taliban names in the past have been captured in big Pakistani cities. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and Afghan Taliban military commander Mullah Baradar was reportedly captured in Karachi."
And according to Pakistan's Express TV, American forces arrived first at the big residence on the outskirts of Abbottabad where the operation took place, and Pakistani forces came later.
Pakistani TV says the government there is mulling a response to Bin Laden's death.
US officials say the compound in which Bin Laden was killed appeared to have been custom-built to harbour a major fugitive.
A BBC reporter in Pakistan says the Afghan Taliban have confirmed the death of Osama Bin Laden.
This from the Associated Press: "Based on statements given by US detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that Bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular and they believed he might be living with him in hiding. In November, intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or internet running into the house."
Richard in Ontario, Canada writes: "A great day for all. Justice finally delivered for those who have lost loves ones over the years at the orders of Osama Bin Laden. Our thoughts and prayers still with those."
A member of the Taliban Haqqani group - a network of insurgents broadly loyal to the Afghan Taliban - has told a BBC correspondent that he met Osama bin Laden three months ago in Abbottabad.
Here's the statement from the British government: "The news that Osama Bin Laden is dead 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. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror. This is a time to remember all those murdered by Osama Bin Laden, and all those who lost loved ones. It is also a time too to thank all those who work round the clock to keep us safe from terrorism. Their work will continue. I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation."
More on the three other people killed along with Bin Laden; officials are saying that one of them was a son of the al-Qaeda leader.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Bin Laden's death is a "resounding triumph for democratic nations fighting terrorism" - Reuters.
Arif Siddiqui in Dhaka, Bangladesh writes: "A victory of peace over terror."
Carolyn Shawgo in Washington, US writes: "First tears and then a wave of relief. Such a sad event to celebrate. I feel as if President Obama handled this with dignity and calm clarity with no sort of boasting."
Neokin in Bangalore, India writes: "It is a significant achievement for the people of the US and people all over the world who want peace and justice. Great operation led by US intelligence and troops who have dedicated their lives particularly to this operation."
The BBC's Haroon Rashid in Islamabad said that last night there were rumours that an operation was going on in an area close to Abbottabad. There were unconfirmed reports of a military helicopter crashing in the area as well. Witnesses said the whole area was cordoned off and nobody was allowed close although they did hear gunshots and firearms. But nobody had any inkling that this was an operation to get Osama bin Laden.
Tim Sumner, from the group called 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, lost a friend, and his brother-in-law in the 9/11 attacks. He gave his reaction to the BBC: "I'm very happy to see that our nation has scored this victory. I say it's a victory for America and for all those engaged in this war -- and it is a war. On a personal level, I woke my wife up just not long ago to tell her and this has been long coming... I would say we are exhilarated, that would be a good word to use. It is a just ending to a mass murderer."
Four people including Bin Laden were killed in the operation - AFP.
US official says Bin Laden's body is being handled according to Islamic practice and tradition, Reuters reports.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron says Bin Laden's death "will bring great relief" around the world - Reuters.
US state department warns Americans of "enhanced potential for anti-American violence" following Bin Laden's death.
AP citing Pakistani official: Four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 100km north of Islamabad; women and children were taken into custody during the raid, according to the report.
Justin King in New York, US writes: "Good news, bad reaction. While I am very pleased to hear that Bin Laden is no longer living and I understand that many may feel that this symbolises a sort of closure to 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, I can't help but feel a little disgusted by the cheering mob jumping around outside the White House. As the world celebrates this occasion let's not forget that even killing a killer is an ugly business and we could be recognising Bin Laden's demise in a more dignified way."
CNN anchor Rosemary Church
tweets: "Ed Henry reporting thousands out the front of the WH, celebrating the news that the world is taking in: #OsamabinLaden is dead!#CNN"
Former US President George W Bush has called the death of Bin Laden a "momentous achievement". He said in a statement: "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."
The American president stressed that the US is not at war with Islam - Bin Laden's demise should be welcomed by all who value peace and dignity, he said.
Obama's verdict towards the end of his statement: "Justice has been done." He said Bin Laden's death marks most significant achievement in struggle against al-Qaeda - and paid tribute to intelligence officials - but he also said there's still more to be done.
The US president said there was a firefight, after which American forces took possession of Bin Laden's body.
President Obama said Bin Laden was killed after the US launched a targeted operation at a compound in Pakistan.
We're starting up live coverage shortly after US President Barack Obama announced that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a US-led operation. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.