Hamas condemns bin Laden killing

AFP , Monday 2 May 2011

Hamas chief condemns killing of "holy warrior" while Iran sees no excuse for the continuing US presence in the region

Ismail Haniya, the head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, on Monday condemned the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan.

"We condemn any killing of a holy warrior or of a Muslim and Arab person and we ask God to bestow his mercy upon him," Haniya said during a meeting with journalists in Gaza.

"If the news is true, then we consider it a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and bloodshed against Arabs and Muslims," he said.

Haniya said he condemned bin Laden's killing "despite the difference in interpretations between us." He did not elaborate.

President Barack Obama announced late on Sunday that US forces operating in Pakistan had killed bin Laden in a raid near the capital, Islamabad.

Adopting a more moderate tone, Iran said on Monday the death of Osama bin Laden has removed "any excuse" for the United States and its allies to deploy forces in the Middle East under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

"US and their allies have no more excuse to deploy forces in the Middle East under pretext of fighting terrorism," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying on the website of Iran's English-language Press TV channel.

He said Iran hopes this development will help to "establish peace and security in the region," adding that it is Iran's policy to "strongly condemn terrorism all over the world."

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