Australians warned after Osama death
Mon, 02 May 2011 16:32:54 GMT
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called on Australians to take safety measures following the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a US operation.
"We are advising Australians in areas likely to be affected by gatherings and demonstrations to exercise enhanced vigilance regarding their personal security," Gillard said on Monday.
US President Barack Obama said in a televised speech late Sunday that US forces conducted an operation that killed the leader of al-Qaeda in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The US State Department also issued a global travel alert to all US citizens, warning of "enhanced potential" for anti-American violence.
The Australian premier insisted that the war in Afghanistan would continue and the death of bin Laden did not change the threat of the Taliban.
"The death of Osama bin Laden is not the end of al-Qaeda," Gillard said.
"This is a very hard fight. That will continue to be a difficult fight. Al-Qaeda has been hurt today, but it would be far too early to make conclusions about what that might mean for the nature of the fight in Afghanistan."
The report of bin Laden's death comes although former Pakistani Premier Benazir Bhutto said in a 2007 interview following a failed assassination attempt on her that the al-Qaeda leader was "murdered" years ago.
In response to a question whether any of the assassins had links with the government, Bhutto said, "Yes but one of them is a very key figure in security, he is a former military officer … and had dealings with Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Osama bin Laden."
Meanwhile, a US official says bin Laden's body has been buried at sea, alleging that his hasty burial was in accordance with Islamic law, which requires burial within 24 hours of death.
This is while burial at sea is not an Islamic practice and Islam does not determine a timeframe for burial.
The official added that finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted man was difficult, so the US decided to bury him at sea.