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Al-Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Killed By US Drone Strike In Afghanistan

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Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been killed in a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, United States President, Joe Biden has said.

 

Al-Zawahiri was killed on Sunday in the biggest blow to the group since its founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed in 2011.

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“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a special televised address from outside the White House.

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Intelligence had located al-Zawahiri’s family in Kabul earlier this year, Biden said, adding that no members of the family or civilians were killed in the attack.

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An Egyptian surgeon with a $25m bounty on his head, al-Zawahiri helped coordinate the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US that killed nearly 3,000 people.

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Earlier, US 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.

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“It’s a significant blow,” Colin Clarke, research director at the Soufan Group, a global security firm, told Al Jazeera, adding that his presence in Kabul was also interesting in what it suggested about his relationship with the Taliban.

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“It tells us he’s gotten far more comfortable over the past year since the Taliban took over,” Clarke said.

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The Taliban confirmed the attack in Kabul – without naming al-Zawahiri – and condemned it as a “violation of international principles”.

 

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The strike was carried out on a residential house in the Sherpur area of Kabul, a diplomatic enclave w. many Taliban leaders live now, Taliban chief spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement.

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