London: Leaders across the world have hailed the killing of the world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden on Monday in a covert US operation. Global leaders have described it as a "resounding victory for justice" that will bring "great relief" to the world.

US President Barack Obama who announced to the world the slaying of the world's most prominent terror mastermind said, "justice has been done", while his predecessor George W Bush hailed it as a "momentous" achievement.

Describing the killing of bin Laden at the hands of US forces as a "resounding victory for justice", Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "The state of Israel joins the American people on this historic day in celebrating the elimination of Osama Bin Laden".

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday that Osama bin Laden had "paid for his actions".

British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would "bring great relief to people across the world".

"It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror," Cameron said in a statement.

Welcoming the death of bin Laden as "significant progress of counter-terrorism measures", Japan's Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said the country welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden as "significant progress of counter-terrorism measures".

"I pay respect to the US officials concerned," Matsumoto said in Paris, according to a Japanese foreign ministry statement.

Warning that the fight against terrorism had not ended, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the death of Osama bin Laden had hurt but not finished Al-Qaeda.

"Whilst Al-Qaeda has been hurt today, Al-Qaeda is not finished. Our war against terrorism must continue," Gillard said.

"Osama bin Laden declared war on innocent people and today he has paid the price for that declaration," Gillard was quoted as saying.

The death of the mastermind behind the worst-ever terror attack on US soil in 2001, "is a victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty," Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said.

He said it was a "victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty. It's a victory of the free world and democracy."

Vowing to step up its cooperation with the US in the fight against terror, Russia has hailed the death of bin Laden as a great success.

"The Kremlin welcomes the serious success the United States achieved in the war against international terrorism," President Dmitry Medvedev's press service said in a statement.
 
Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of US forces is a "victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism", France's foreign minister said.

"The scourge of terrorism has suffered a historic defeat but it's not the end of Al-Qaeda," President Nicolas Sarkozy added in a separate statement.

"The combat against the criminals who claim to form part of it should continue without respite and unite all the states who are victims of these crimes," he said. PTI

Agencies