KABUL, Afghanistan - (AP) - The Afghan Taliban say the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden will only serve to boost morale in insurgent ranks and encourage them in the war against the U.S. and its NATO allies.

In statement sent Friday by email to news organizations, theTaliban said the death of the terror leader "will give a newimpetus to the current jihad against the invaders," meaning theU.S. and its international partners.

The Taliban praised bin Laden for his sacrifice in the waragainst the Soviets in the 1980s and said anyone who believes hisdeath will undermine the current conflict is displaying a "lack ofinsight."

Bin Laden was killed early Monday in a U.S. raid against hishiding place in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad.