Obama confirms US has killed Osama bin Laden, US has body

Al Qaeda leader killed in firefight, President Obama confirms. John Key says world now a safer place. [UPDATED with GOOGLE MAP]

US President Obama has appeared on US television to confirm the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. 

The president said bin Laden was killed today (Sunday US time) in a firefight in Pakistan, after which US troops had taken custody of his body.

"The US is not and never will be in a war against Islam," he said, adding bin Laden was not a Muslim leader and had killed many Muslims.

"His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity," President Obama said, adding "justice has been done".

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Bin Laden's death comes almost 10 years after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States which killed over 3000 people. 

President Obama said he had been briefed last August on a possible lead on bin Laden.

US officials believe Osama bin Laden's adult son, two other adults killed during raid on his compound, according to a Reuters report.

Although few details have been reveailed by US authorities, the news agency sites a source who claims that US Special Forces led the operation that killed Bin Ladin.

ABOVE: Obama was number one on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list, with a reward of $US25 million for information leading to his apprehension.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the world is now a safer place.

"For all those who have lost a loved one [in terrorist attacks], they may feel now that some sense of justice has been achieved," he said.

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