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Obama Urges Continuation Of National Unity

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on May 2.
U.S. President Barack Obama has appealed to lawmakers to continue the spirit of national unity that followed Osama bin Laden's death.

At a White House dinner for congressional leaders, Obama said the nation is experiencing the same type of rallying together that occurred after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

At the UN, the Security Council urged countries to intensify efforts to fight terrorism and recalled "the heinous terrorist attacks" committed by the Al-Qaeda network throughout the world.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it "a watershed moment in the fight against global terrorism," and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called bin Laden "a symbol of terror."

"Bin Laden was a symbol for the international terror that did not respect life, only killed, and only destroyed," Merkel said. "He pretended to act in the name of Islam, but that was a mockery of this faith and a mockery of any other religion."

In further international reaction, China said the death of bin Laden was a "major event" in the fight against international terrorism.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, the United States says it was closing its embassy in the capital, Islamabad, and consulates in three other cities to the public until further notice, amid fears of possible retaliatory attacks.

compiled from agency reports