May 2 - Reaction in the Middle East is mixed after news spreads of Osama bin Laden's death. Jessica Gray reports.
Residents of Muslim nations take stock in light of al Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. forces in Pakistan. In Lahore, one man said he needed absolute proof before believing U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) RETIRED GOVERNMENT OFFICER, ABDUL RASHEED "There has been news of Osama bin Laden's death several times; rumours have been spread not once but many times in the past. Either those reports were false or this one is untrue. Unless we see some footage or concrete evidence, we cannot say whether this report is true or false." This man accuses the U.S of trying to paint Pakistan as an al Qaeda supporter, since Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, a suburb of Islamabad, late Sunday night. Others are pleased that Bin Laden is dead. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) TRAVEL AGENT, SHAHBAZ AHMED "The bad is bad, whoever may be behind it, whether it is Osama or someone else. It is always good to finish the evil. A lot of destruction was brought to Pakistan because of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan itself came under crisis; the whole world had seen crises. If he was bad, it is good that he has been killed." In Egypt there is relief, with one man calling it a major blow to extremists everywhere. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN, SOBHI MAHMOUD BAYOUMI "Is important for one reason - It is a victory over terrorism and terrorist groups. We hope that none of the Arab and Islamic nations has any terrorism present in them, or the killing of innocents who play no role in these issues. And we want all the Islamic countries to develop and focus on themselves." But not everyone agrees Bin Laden's death will herald an end to al-Qaeda. This man says the recent bombing in Morroco that killed several tourists shows how widespread the problem is and countries will have to work together to combat Arab nations' support of fundamentalists. Meanwhile, residents in Baghdad said the news would help heal the reputation of Islam. SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABDUL ZAHRA MUTTAR, IRAQI FROM CENTRAL BAGHDAD'S KARRADA DISTRICT "If this news is correct, it will have a reaction on the Iraqi and Islamic streets because al Qaeda has contributed to defaming the true picture of Islam. Islam is a message of humanity, peace and love but Takfiri movements including al Qaeda led by Osama bin laden have caused great harm to Muslim people around the world and ignited sectarian division inside Iraq." In Kabul, some described Bin Laden's end as good news, while others said they still supported his mission to wage war on U.S. interests. Bin Laden's death is a coup for Obama's national security team and could boost the president's ratings before elections next year. Jessica Gray, Reuters