|Al-Qaeda says it will release a recording of Osama bin Laden made one week before his death [GALLO/GETTY]
Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, and said in an online posting that it will continue to launch attacks on the West.
The group said it would not deviate from the path of armed struggle and that bin Laden's blood "is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain".
The statement was released on forums sympathetic to al-Qaeda and translated by the SITE monitoring service on Friday.
"It [bin Laden's blood] will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries," al-Qaeda said.
It was not clear what country the statement had been posted from.
Bin Laden's death 'a catastrophe'
The message called upon Pakistan, where bin Laden was discovered, to "rise up and revolt to cleanse this shame that has been attached to them... and to clean their country from the filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it".
"In respect of the recent use of deadly force against Osama bin Laden, the United States of America should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards"
UN human rights investigators
It added that the group would soon release an audio tape of bin Laden that was recorded one week before he was killed by US commandos on Monday.
Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen confirmed the death of bin Laden four days ago, after speaking to their contacts in Pakistan.
A spokesman for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said they were devastated at the news.
"This news has been a catastrophe for us. At first we did not believe it, but we got in touch with our brothers in Pakistan who have confirmed it," a member told the AFP news agency.
In a statement issued by email on Friday, the Taliban in Afghanistan said bin Laden's death would give a "new impetus" to the fight against "foreign invaders" in the country.
A US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in 2001, months after the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, ousting the al-Qaeda-allied Taliban from power. But Taliban fighters have been waging an insurgency ever since.
"The sapling of jihad has always grown, spruced and reached fructification through irrigation by pure blood," the statement said.
"The martyrdom of a martyr leads to hundreds more to head to the field of martyrdom and sacrifice."
Full disclosure call
UN human rights investigators called on the United States on Friday to disclose the full facts surrounding the killing of bin Laden, in particular whether there had been any plan to capture him.
Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Martin Scheinin, special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism, said that in certain exceptional cases, deadly force may be used in "operations against terrorists".
"However, the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially decided punishment," the independent experts said in a joint statement.
"In respect of the recent use of deadly force against Osama bin Laden, the United States of America should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards," they said.
"It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden."
It was important to get this information "into the open," according to the investigators, who report to the UN Human Rights Council.