U.S. kills top AL-QAEDA leader Ayman AL-Zawahiri in Afghanistan

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States killed top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in the center of Kabul, the Afghanistan capital, U.S. president joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday.

The United States killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a “precision” strike, a key plotter of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The biggest blow to the militant group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011,” said U.S. President Joe Biden.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head, helped organize Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. He took over as the leader of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death, at an urban safe house in Afghanistan.

“Zawahiri was killed when he came out on the balcony of his safe house in Kabul on Sunday morning and was hit by “hellfire” missiles from a U.S. drone” according to U.S. officials.

“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in remarks from the White House on Tuesday. “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”

Biden also added that the precision airstrike was carried out downtown Kabul under his authorization and no civilians were killed.

However, the authorities in Afghanistan and the Taliban administration in Kabul declined to comment on Zawahiri’s death.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had previously confirmed that a strike took place in Kabul on Sunday and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of “international principles.”

U.S. intelligence determined with “high confidence” through multiple intelligence streams that the man killed was Zawahiri, according to Reuters.

“Zawahiri continued to pose an active threat to U.S. persons, interests, and national security,” and “His death deals a significant blow to al Qaeda and will degrade the group’s ability to operate,” U.S. officials said.

There were rumors of Zawahiri’s death several times in recent years, and he was long reported to have been in poor health.



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