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Osama bin Laden dead: Jubilant crowds gather in D.C., NYC

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Hundreds of people are celebrating in the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City at ground zero, where the twin towers fell on Sept. 11 nearly 10 years ago, hours after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed.

Crowds gathered outside the White House after the announcement of bin Laden's killing. Photo by Philip Stewart, ABC7/NewsChannel 8

Many were waving American flags or taking pictures early Monday. The group broke into spontaneous, jubilant cheers and song, including a rendition of "I'm Proud to be an American."

On Pennsylvannia Avenue in D.C., a large group gathered in front of the White House, chanting "USA! USA!", hanging from trees, and waving American flags. Among them was legislative aide Will Ditto. He called bin Laden's death "huge."

Crowds of celebrating people and police who were trying to control them blocked streets in downtown Washington.

Farther uptown in Times Square, dozens stood together on the clear spring night, making calls and snapping photos. An FDNY SUV drove by and flashed its lights and sounded its siren, and the crowd broke into applause.

Shortly after the announcement of bin Laden's killing, the State Department put U.S. embassies and police authorities on alert and warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence. In a worldwide travel alert, the department said there was an "enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan."

UPDATE 9:49 A.M. Cameron Hardesty shared this video of the crowd at the White House singing the national anthem last night:

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