Los Angeles: Osama Bin Laden's killing by US is completely justified, Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said at the start of a trip to five US states.

The Buddhist leader also said the al-Qaeda chief may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness. But, cited by the LA Times, he said: "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures also."

The Tibetan spiritual leader did not broach the bin Laden question during two further events on Wednesday, but a summary of his comments posted a day later on his website sought to clarify his remarks.

"The first question was on His Holiness' emphasis on compassion as a basis of ethics. It asked whether in some situation ensuring justice is more important than being compassionate to the perpetrator of a crime," it said.

It referred to the news of the death of Osama bin Laden and the celebrations of it by some, and asked where compassion fit in with this and ethics.

In response he "emphasized the need to find a distinction between the action and the actor. He said in the case of bin Laden, his action was of course destructive and the September 11 events killed thousands of people. So his action must be brought to justice... But with the actor we must have compassion and a sense of concern... His Holiness said therefore the counter measure, no matter what form it takes, has to be compassionate action".

The 75-year-old spiritual leader, who delayed his arrival here to recover from illness while in Japan, was on his first trip to the US since announcing his decision in March to resign from politics.

The Nobel laureate who will retain the more significant role of Tibet's spiritual leader, has stressed he was still "fully committed" to the struggle against authoritarian Chinese rule in Tibet.

Beijing continues to brand the Dalai Lama a "splittist" and subjects him to virulent public attacks.

‘Osama killing fully consistent with laws of war’

"The (Special Operations) team had the authority to kill Osama bin Laden unless he offered to surrender; in which case the team was required to accept his surrender if the team could do so safely," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

"The operation was conducted in a manner fully consistent with the laws of war. The operation was planned so that the team was prepared and had the means to take bin Laden
into custody," Carney said in response to a question.

"There is simply no question that this operation was lawful. Bin Laden was the head of al Qaeda, the organization that conducted the attacks of September 11, 2001. And al Qaeda
and bin Laden himself had continued to plot attacks against the US. We acted in the nation's self-defense," he said.

If Osama bin Laden had surrendered the US, could have brought him into custody safely, then that would have been bringing him to justice as well.

"But he was brought to justice on Sunday. I think it's entirely appropriate that given the circumstances, that he was brought to justice in the way he was. The professionals on
the ground put themselves at great risk and accomplished their mission," he said.

Osama a mass killer of Muslims: Clinton

Slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was shot dead by Special US forces in Pakistan, was a mass killer of Muslims and not a martyr as a few people are trying to portray, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said in Washington.

In her remarks to the National Conference of Editorial Writers, Clinton said the State Department is now working on a narrative that will convince people he was a murderer, not a martyr and that bin Laden murdered more Muslims than anyone else.

Clinton said the effort to stop al-Qaeda and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden.

Responding to questions, Clinton said there's no doubt that al-Qaeda is somewhat decentralised, but that bin Laden remained the brains behind the operation and the inspiration.

"He was the person who people pledged loyalty to when they joined al-Qaeda. It wasn't to an organization; it was to an individual," she said.