Reaction to killing of Osama bin Laden
May 2nd, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Reaction to killing of Osama bin Laden

[Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET] The following is reaction from politicians and others around the world to Sunday night's news that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid involving the U.S. military on a compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan:

Iran Foreign Ministry:  The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the death of Osama bin Laden will put an end to war and the killing of innocent people and restore peace to their region, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. The IRNA website reports Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that foreign countries now have no excuse for military buildup in the region to fight terrorism."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: The death of Osama bin Laden sends a message to the Taliban in Afghanistan that "you cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda" and participate in a peaceful political process. Bin Laden's death comes at a time of "great movements toward freedom and democracy" in the Middle East and elsewhere, she said. "There is no better rebuke to al Qaeda and its heinous ideology," she said. "The fight continues and we will never waiver." Some doubted bin Laden would ever be caught, she said, but "this is America. ... We persevere, and we get the job done."

CIA Director Leon Panetta: Today, we have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time. A US strike team stormed a compound in Abottabad, Pakistan and killed Usama Bin Ladin. Thankfully, no Americans were lost, and every effort was taken to avoid civilian casualties. Nothing will ever compensate for the pain and suffering inflicted by this mass murderer and his henchmen. But just as evil never rests, neither does good. May the fact that Usama Bin Ladin no longer inhabits the earth be a source of comfort for the thousands of families, here in America and around the globe, who mourn the victims of al-Qa'ida's barbarity. Within our Agency family, our thoughts turn to those who died fighting to make this day possible. Our brothers and sisters who gave their lives in the war against al-Qa'ida—from Mike Spann to our heroes at Khowst—are with us, in memory and spirit, at this joyful moment. In all that we do, they are our constant inspiration. My deepest thanks and congratulations go out to the officers of our CounterTerrorism Center and Office of South Asia Analysis for their outstanding expertise, amazing creativity, and excellent tradecraft. I also extend my profound appreciation and absolute respect to the strike team, whose great skill and courage brought our nation this historic triumph. The raid was the culmination of intense and tireless effort on the part of many dedicated Agency officers over many years. Our men and women designed highly complex, innovative, and forward-leaning clandestine operations that led us to Bin Ladin. One operation would yield intelligence that was carefully analyzed and then used to drive further operations. Along with our partners at NGA, NSA, and ODNI, we applied the full range of our capabilities, collecting intelligence through both human and technical means and subjecting it to the most rigorous analysis by our government's leading experts on Bin Ladin and his organization. Persistent hard work produced the results that the American people expect of their intelligence service: We gave President Obama and his team accurate, relevant, timely intelligence—providing the information and insight they needed at key points as this mission developed. I offered my personal thanks to the President for his willingness to make the courageous decision to proceed with the operation. Though Bin Ladin is dead, al-Qa'ida is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must—and will—remain vigilant and resolute. But we have struck a heavy blow against the enemy. The only leader they have ever known, whose hateful vision gave rise to their atrocities, is no more. The supposedly uncatchable one has been caught and killed. And we will not rest until every last one of them has been delivered to justice. Remember how you felt in the anxious hours after the attacks of September 11th , and how our Agency vowed to run to ground a vicious foe. Whether you were here at the time or were inspired to serve at CIA in the months and years that followed, take heart in knowing that our Agency is doing its essential job for the American people, and for all humanity. A promise has been kept. And a war will be won. God bless the United States of America.

Mexico Ministry of Foreign Relation: The Government of Mexico reiterates its deep conviction that terrorism is a criminal activity that must be fought decisively by the international community because it represents a serious threat to global peace and stability and causes many innocent lives to be lost. That's why the Government of Mexico recognizes the efforts carried out by the Government of the United States to fight against and capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. These efforts have resulted in his defeat and death during an operation by U.S. armed forces in Pakistan. This is an act of great significance in the efforts to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism which threatens peace and international security, in particular the one practiced by one of the most cruel and bloody terrorist organizations which has acted against the civilian population and which has caused the loss of many innocent lives, including Mexican citizens in the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney: "The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American forces is a victory for the United States and a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission. Their tireless work since 9/11 has made this achievement possible, and enabled us to capture or kill thousands of al Qaeda terrorists and many of their leaders. I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team. At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who've paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11. Al Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy. Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on. We must remain vigilant, especially now, and we must continue to support our men and women in uniform who are fighting on the front lines of this war every day. Today, the message our forces have sent is clear - if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice."

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh: "I welcome it as a significant step forward and hope that it will deal a decisive blow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilized behavior and kill innocent men, women and children."

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper: In my nearly 50 years in intelligence, never have I seen a more remarkable example of focused integration, seamless collaboration, and sheer professional magnificence as was demonstrated by the Intelligence Community in the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden. The careful, diligent work of CIA, NGA, and NSA was simply incredible. It is with great pride and admiration that I offer thanks to all of the dedicated men and women of our community who worked so tirelessly in this achievement. I want to thank the President for his cool, decisive leadership. The Intelligence Community will never waver in our continued commitment to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh: The government of Iraq supports international efforts to combat terrorism. The Iraqi government is feeling greatly relieved with the success of U.S. forces over the killing of the leader of al-Qaeda (Osama bin Laden) during a military operation carried out in its efforts to combat terrorism. The crimes committed by al-Qaeda terror organization, that Iraqi people and other peaceful nations have suffered from, represents a major threats to the safety and security of the international community. Iraq stresses its support of any international effort to eradicate the poles of blind extremism and terror elements who terrorized safe communities with their crimes.

Esam El Erian, Muslim Brotherhood official spokesman: We see that Osama's death especially after the revolutions in the region, as a new beginning for a normal relationship with the United States in the Middle East so that the US can finalize the peace treaty and recognize Palestine as an independent nation, allow the return of Palestinians to their land, withdraw of US forces from the region and start a new relation with the Arabs. We would like to put behind us the old image portrayed by the 9/11 attacks which has mixed politics, religion and media.

Statement on Saudi Press Agency: "An official source has expressed the hope of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the extermination of the terrorist head of Al Qaeda is a step towards the reinforcing of the international efforts to combat terror and breaking up its cells. And the extinguishing of the misleading school of thought it rests on. "

Former President George W. Bush: "This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton: "I congratulate the president, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks."

British Prime Minister David Cameron: "The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world. Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen - for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror. This is a time to remember all those murdered by Osama bin Laden, and all those who lost loved ones. It is also a time too to thank all those who work round the clock to keep us safe from terrorism. Their work will continue. I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation."

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death Sunday "great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world.

"We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people. I want to congratulate - and thank - the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success. I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice," Boehner said in a statement.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he hopes the world believes that his country is "not the place of terrorism" after the announcement that the al Qaeda leader was killed in neighboring Pakistan.

"If the international troops/forces are true allies of  the Afghans - they should come out and say that the killing of Afghans, children  and elders which took place over the many years on a daily basis was not a good  idea," Karzai said on RTA TV.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell congratulated those who helped bring justice by killing bin Laden and praised troops for their work.

"An evil person has been eliminated, Osama bin Laden is dead and buried at sea. Justice has been done. His death brings a sense of relief to the families of 911 and the families of all those brave America troops who have fought this war over the past ten years. I congratulate the intelligence community and the assaulting troops for this flawless operation. Osama bin Laden was just one man. The al-Qaeda threat remains and we must be vigilant and aggressive against them until they are totally destroyed."

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania, released the following statement on the death of Osama bin Laden:

"The news that Osama bin Laden is no more demonstrates the resolve of the intelligence and military community and the American community writ large. We did not forget, nor will we ever. May this news give some measure of comfort to those we lost on 9/11 and those we have lost since that day, who fought so bravely to answer brutality with justice.

"As we mark this victory, we know that as one chapter closes, more chapters will be written. A flawed ideology did not die with one man. But just as surely as the fight will continue, so will our determination. We remain, just as we were nearly ten years ago, joined together and joined to the task."

Israeli President Shimon Peres said called the death a "a great piece of news for the free world, it’s a great achievement for the security forces of the United States of America, it’s a great achievement for the President of the United States, Obama".

"The world will become a better world without him, doesn’t mean this is the end of all of terrorism and danger, but one that was an outstanding and the one who was the outstanding murderer reached finally his own justified end," he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said bin Laden's death was a result of a "remarkable U.S. commando" operation.

"Osama Bin Laden was a promoter of the ideology of hatred and was the chief of a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of thousands of victims, especially in Muslim countries," he said.

"For his victims, justice has been done. Today, in France, we think of them and their families."

U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, said Obama's statement speaks for all Americans.

"Afghans have suffered as much as any other nation from the campaign of terror that he and his extremist followers undertook. His victims– Afghan, American and from many other nations– will never be forgotten," he said.

As President Obama said, “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.”

This victory will not mark the end of our effort against terrorism. America’s strong support for the people of Afghanistan will continue as before.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California: "The announcement that Usama bin Laden is dead is welcome news, and I congratulate the CIA for finding him and providing the information that led to his death. I also congratulate the U.S. military team who conducted this clean and precise operation."

Donald Trump: I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men and women of the Armed Forces for a job well done. I am so proud to see Americans standing shoulder to shoulder, waving the American flag in celebration of this great victory. We should spend the next several days not debating party politics, but in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those currently fighting for our freedom. God Bless America!

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated the United States on the operation and  said she acknowledges the role of Pakistan in the fight against terror.

"Our fight against terrorism does not end with bin  Laden's death. We must remain vigilant against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups it has inspired," she said.

A spokesman for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the nation would continue its work with the international community to combat terrorism.

"We pay our respects to the efforts of those  concerned, including the U.S. and Pakistan. We regard this as part of a united  effort to fight against terrorism," said spokesman Noriyuki Shikata. "Japan has been working on assistance to both  Pakistan and Afghanistan, and proactively tackling the issue of terrorism."

A statement from the Embassy of Yemen in the U.S. released a statement welcoming "the elimination of Usama Bin Ladin, the founding father of the Al-Qaeda’s terrorist network. The successful operation, spearheaded by U.S. forces, marks a monumental milestone in the ongoing global war against terrorism."

Russia's Foreign Ministry published a statement on its website calling bin Laden's death a "landmark point."

"The elimination of Osama bin Laden, a notorious figure and the number one terrorist, is a landmark point in fighting international terrorism. This is an extraordinary event for the entire anti-terror coalition which will have a lasting practical meaning in terms of decapitation of the criminal organization," the statement said. "It will become an important symbol since it took place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. As part of the anti-terror coalition, we sympathize with the Americans, and appreciate the fact that the Russian authorities were informed about the news (of bin Laden's elimination) ahead of the official announcement of U.S.President Barack Obama."

Above all, we would like to emphasize the inevitability of this result: sooner or later bin Laden, (the slain Chechen warlord Shamil) Basayev and their likes, receive retribution. The most important principle in fighting terrorists, as well as criminals in general, is to ensure the responsibility for the crimes. In that respect, the success of the American special forces as well as that of the Russian security forces in the North Caucasus against the emissaries of Al-Quaeda, has a universal significance. This is a clear message that terrorism has no future, and will inevitably be held responsible for the crimes that it committed."

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: "Finally. We cut off the head of the snake. It's our intelligence that got him. The noose has been tightening because of our intelligence operations."

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the "welcome news" of the death of Osama bin Laden "is a credit to our intelligence efforts and brings to justice the architect of the attacks on our country that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: "It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead ... Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden's many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist."

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice - and we did. I want to congratulate America's armed forces and President Obama for a job well done."

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R- Minnesota: "Tonight's news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden's horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism."

Former Alaska Gov.  Sarah Palin: "Thank you, American men and women in uniform. You are America's finest and we are all so proud. Thank you for fighting against terrorism."

Former U.S. Sen Rick Santorum: "This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph.  Americans have waited nearly 10 years for the news of Osama bin Laden's death.  And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden."

The Pakistani foreign ministry confirmed the terror leader's death in a statement: "In an intelligence driven operation, Osama bin Laden was killed in the surroundings of Abbotabad  in the early hours of this morning. This operation was conducted by the  U.S. forces in accordance with declared U.S. policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the U.S. forces, wherever found in the world."

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister for the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, condemned the killing, describing bin Laden as a Muslim "mujahid" or holy warrior. Al Qaeda and the Islamist radical group Hamas have no official relationship, but the Palestinian conflict with Israel has been the subject of frequent audio messages from al Qaeda.

Uganda government spokesman Fred Opolot pledged to continue its fight against terrorism. Ugandan troops are part of an African Union force helping fight the al-Shabaab - an al Qaeda proxy - in Somalia.

"Uganda shall continue to support the ongoing fight against global terrorism  and renews its commitment to bring to justice those who commit acts of  terror in the country,' the spokesman said.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen congratulated President Obama and all those who took part in the operation.

"This is a significant success for the security of NATO Allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us," Rasmussen said in a statement. "NATO made clear that it considered the September 11 attacks on the United States an attack against all Allies. We remember the thousands of innocent lives lost to terrorist atrocities in so many of our nations, in Afghanistan, and around the world."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released a statement Monday morning welcoming the death of Osama bin Laden: "As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide. We also reiterate President Obama's clear statement tonight that the United States is not at war with Islam."

Abdullah  Abdullah, the leader of the opposition Hope and Change political party in Afghanistan, said the killing of bin Laden proves that Pakistan is a "haven" for terror groups.

"Killing of Osama bin Laden is pleasant news for Afghans, and now it's proven that al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are not based in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a haven for them."

Carrie Lemack, a woman whose mother was killed on American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, expressed "relief" over reports that Osama bin Laden is dead.

"Cannot express how this feels to my family, but relief is one word," Lemack said in an e-mail to CNN. "We hope we can now focus on all that that madman took, namely nearly 3,000 + innocent victims, and not on him."

Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto told to the press his country confirmed the U.S. statement that bin Laden was killed.

"I take it as the outcome of long years of fights against terror towards the prevention and elimination of international terrorism by the US and other countries. Japan has also been actively participating in the endeavor to eliminate terrorism including its cooperation with Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Concerning the matter of Usama Bin Laden, we welcome it as the significant progress of conter-terrorism measures. I pay respect to the US officials concerned. While his death was confirmed, it does not mean that terrorism was eliminated. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, acts of terrorism have continued to occur, and the threat of terrorism is serious.  This is not the end of the story.  It is necessary to keep close eyes on the activities of al Qaeda, with the international community cooperating closely, and addressing the matter steadfastly.  Also, the reconstruction of Afghanistan  should be addressed.  Japan continues to actively contribute to counter-terrorism measures as a member of the international community."

Retired New York City police officer Bob Gibson, who was celebrating early Monday morning in New York City, said he knew people who died in the September 11 attacks.

"I never thought this night would come, where we would actually capture or kill bin Laden, and thank the lord, he's been eliminated, to put it politely," Gibson told CNN's Jason Carroll. "A lot of us ... gave up. But it did come, and a lot of us are overjoyed that it happened."

Dustin Swensson, who recently served in Iraq: "It's a hell of a day. It's historic. And it's what the world needed," as he celebrated outside the White House gates. "(I'll) always remember where I was when the towers went down and I'm always going to remember where I am now."

soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Philip

    OBLs attorneys would even call former President George W. Bush to testify. "Mr. Bush...did you or did you not pay OBL 50 million dollars up-front to go into Afganistan and raise hell?" .da der I um it's ummm (his attorney whispers in his ear) Uh, can I plead a fifth of something? he he...they might have even had OBls brother's body exumed (Salim BinLaden is dead also) to see if George's fingerprints are on Salim's wallet. hay! I bet they'd even call Bush's blood relative Colin Powell to testify. dang that wouldda been an interesting trial.

    May 3, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • sky_yang

      I hate the war!!!

      May 5, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • sky_yang

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      May 5, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Said

    This day is historical.By the name all good sons of arab nation congratulation to the US the achieving of justic finally.Ben Laden is responsable on the kiling of many muslim people beside to the thousands innocents in Newyork. The war he blessed in algeria has cost more than 200.000 victims.In Iraq and every where he made destruction.His dangerousity now is ended.I hear in some few televisisn and public places known for their tendance extremism some things ilike ( he've should been brung to justice rather than kiling him,) or ( he died like a brave man) .Every body knows he died while hiding like a mouse, he get what he deserved and hopefully every one who is envolved with him will see the same end. Death is no raison to celebrate but his is very good raison since it means the save of many many lives and minds.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • OBAMA_BIN LADEN

      YOU SURELY ARE AN IDIOT !!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. countryboy

    Some mad. Some sad. Whats the real truth? http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUMONE bye now!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Normal

    What i want to kno if him killing people isnt justice then why do we got to war and kill others and or let others get their lives taken? I just dont understand because its still not right if you killing anyone

    May 3, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Seriously????

    Isn't this how the Nazi's acted when Hitler did stuff???? Like wreckless fools...? Hey...I know...everytime we murder someone...let's dance in the streets!!! woo hoo and welcome to "America".....

    May 4, 2011 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. nk

    still pro-osama processions allowed in pak. when will we awaken

    May 4, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. witchno1

    I beleive in the long run it will save on alot of other issues if the photo was not released.C'mon these navy seals do not play.Believing bin laden isnt dead is like not beleiving in our military.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • OBAMA_BIN LADEN

      MY DEAR, YOU SURELY ARE AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT !!!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. OBAMA_BIN LADEN

    DUFFYT LIST DUCK IS THE NEXT PUBLIC ENNEMI NUMBER ONE ON THE C.I.A HIT LIST

    May 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OBAMA_BIN LADEN

    BARACK OBAMA SAID HE WONT ALLOW THE PICTURE TO BE RELEASED BECAUSE IT IS GRUESOME?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET ME LAUGH OUT LOUD :HE HE HE HE HE HE H HE HI HI HI HI HI HI !!!!!!!!!!! OH DEAR OH DEAR !!, IT DIDN'T BOTHER THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TO SHOW YOU THE GRAPHIC AND HORIFIC PICTURES OF OVER TWO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DYING IN THE TWIN TOWERS ON 09/11/2001, ISN'T IT ?! WELL, OSAMA BIN LADEN IS STILL ALIVE, I SAW HIM YESTERDAY !!!! THAT'S WHY YOU WILL NOT SEE A PHOTO OF HIS DEAD BODY........ AND, PLEASE, AMERICAN PEOPLE YOU NEED TO GROW UP A LITTLE BIT. OR, AT LEAST GROW SOME BRAIN........MO OFFENCE .

    May 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. HAMID

    that great job have take many year of work am happy for that and congratulation for america

    September 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
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