(AFP) – May 2, 2011
OTTAWA — Canada received the news of Osama bin Laden's death with "sober satisfaction" but must not lower its guard against terrorism, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.
"Sadly, others will take his place," Harper said after US President Barack Obama announced that US forces had stormed a compound in Pakistan overnight and killed bin Laden.
The Saudi-born militant's demise ends a nearly 10-year manhunt for the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States that killed some 3,000 people, including 24 Canadians.
Since 2002, 155 Canadian soldiers also died routing insurgents in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force deployed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Canada is scheduled to withdraw its 2,800 combat troops from Afghanistan in July and send in nearly 1,000 military trainers in their place to help Afghans secure their nation.
The death of bin Laden "does remind us why Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan," Harper commented.
"Through their operations there to cut off terror at its root, our men and women in uniform have made an enormous contribution to Canadian security at home and abroad."
Harper's main challenger in an election that wrapped up on Monday, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton said in a statement he hoped "the death of Osama bin Laden marks a turning point in the war on terrorism."
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, meanwhile, called the news of bin Laden's death "a moment of victory for everybody who loves democracy and loves freedom."
"I hope it makes the world safer (but) we'll have to remain vigilant because there's a network out there."
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