The killing of Osama bin Laden continues to generate criticism, particularly in Europe and Great Britain.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has lamented that the shooting of an unarmed Osama by U.S. Navy SEALs has bothered his conscience.

I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done,” he told reporters.

In those circumstances I think it's also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help. I don't know the full details any more than anyone else does. But I do believe that in such circumstances when we are faced with someone who was manifestly a war criminal in terms of the atrocities inflicted it is important that justice is seen to be served.

At first, US officials said Osama was armed and “participated in a firefight” when commandos stormed his encampment. Later, the White House amended its earlier statement by saying the former al Qaeda boss was unarmed.

The Obama Administration said that Osama was a legitimate target and the killing was lawful.

US Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee: Let me make something very clear, the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful. He was the head of al Qaida - an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11. He admitted his involvement. It was justified as an act of national self defense. If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, said the Church will not comment on Osama's death.

A Vatican spokesman, released this statement after the killing of Osama:

“Osama bin Laden, as we all know, bore the most serious responsibility for spreading divisions and hatred among populations, causing the deaths of innumerable people, and manipulating religions to this end.In the face of a man’s death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred.”

There has also been some harsh criticism over the spectacle of Americans publicly celebrating the death of Osama.

The widow of a British marine who was killed in Afghanistan has condemned such behavior and warned they could prompt reprisals.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Kirianne Curley said: I understand it made more sense for him to be killed than captured, but I believe it's the start of some serious repercussions, and once again our Armed Forces will take the hit.”

Her husband Corporal Stephen Curley, 26, died in last May during an explosion while on foot patrol.

Kirianne added: While bin Laden being killed is closure for many I've still got an empty seat at the table at meal times and it doesn't bring any closure for myself. People publicly rejoicing in his death is quite vulgar - an eye for an eye makes everybody blind.