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Tue 3 May 2011 06:14 PM

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Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing

Senior official in birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden speaks at GCC meeting

Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Iraqi men read newspapers displaying front page pictures and headlines that read in Arabic The end of the butcher. (AFP/Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Obamas predecessor, George W. Bush, had repeatedly vowed to bring bin Laden to justice "dead or alive" for the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people, but never did before leaving office in early 2009.
Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday in a firefight with US forces in Pakistan, ending a years-long hunt for the mastermind behind the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. (Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia says it hopes 'an evil has ended' after killing
Students gather at the fence on the north side of the White House, pose for photographs, chant "USA! USA!" and sing the Star Spangled Banner while US President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, hopes that with his death, an "evil has ended", the Gulf Arab state's deputy interior minister said on Tuesday.

"We hope that with the death of Osama bin Laden, an evil has ended," Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz told reporters at a meeting of Gulf interior ministers.

"He has been an evil to himself, to his immediate family and to the Arab countries as a whole."

He added that while bin Laden may be a symbol, Saudi Arabia did not know if he was al Qaeda's "main driver" or if the global militant network was comprised of a number of separate groups that were unlinked.

Separately, the UAE said on Tuesday that the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a shoot-out in Pakistan did not signal the end of the war on terror.

The Gulf state, which was one of the first Arab countries to speak out on the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, warned of the need to stay vigilant.

“'The death of bin Laden does not spell the end of Al Qaeda and terrorism,'' Tariq Al Haidan, the UAE’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, said in comments published by state news agency WAM.

“We must exercise caution and vigilance so as to preserve the security of the UAE and its people.”

Bin Laden was killed by a small team of US soldiers in a firefight Sunday at a compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad. His body was buried at sea less than 24-hours later, US officials said.

Al Haidan said his demise could help remove the stigma associated with Islam in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.