World's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden has been killed and his body recovered by American authorities in Pakistan. He was killed in an operation carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Pakistan, US President Barack Obama said on Sunday.
A small team of Americans carried out the attack and took custody of bin Laden's remains, the president said in a dramatic late-night statement at the White House.
The reported death of the Saudi-born extremist comes weeks ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in July.
Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, 54, who created and funded the al Qaeda terror network. He was suspected of playing large roles in the 1998 bombings of two US Embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000.
The Saudi exile had been a on the run since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan overthrew the ruling Taliban regime, which harboured bin Laden.
Born in 1957, bin Laden was a son of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest construction magnate.