Biden says al-Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri killed in airstrike in Afghanistan

August 2, 2022 - 11:56

U.S. President Joe Biden said in a report aired on TV on Monday that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed in a CIA drone strike on a residential area in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.

"I gave the final approval to go get him," Biden said.

Al-Zawahiri, 71, took al-Qaeda leadership after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May 2011.

"Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more," Biden said. He also claimed there were no civilian casualties in the attack.

Taliban confirmed the U.S. airstrike on a residence in the Sherpur area of Kabul. They condemned the attack as a violation of international law and a breach of a deal signed between the U.S. and Taliban forces.

U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan almost a year ago after the Taliban signed the 2020 Doha deal in which they agreed not to allow Afghanistan to be used again as a launchpad for international terrorists, but experts believe the group never broke their ties with Al-Qaeda.

Al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in Cairo and later moved to Europe before joining bin Laden.

With a $25m reward on his head, al-Zawahiri helped coordinate the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Earlier, U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters that the CIA carried out a drone attack in Kabul using two missiles. Al-Zawahiri was on his balcony at the time, they said, Al Jazeera reported.


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