WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time of the September 11 attacks and famously said he wanted Osama bin Laden dead or alive, on Sunday called the death of the al Qaeda leader a "momentous achievement."
President Barack Obama called Bush in Dallas at 9:04 p.m. central time to inform him that bin Laden was dead and they spoke for four minutes, a Bush spokesman said.
The September 11 attacks were a defining moment of Bush's presidency. He launched the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden spanned the rest of his presidency.
"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," Bush said in a statement.
"The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done," he said.
(Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Philip Barbara)