President Joe Biden said Monday the United States killed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an airstrike in Afghanistan this weekend, the group’s worst setback since the death of founder Osama bin Laden in 2011.
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“On my direction, the United States successfully completed an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, killing Al Qaeda Amir Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Biden said in a media briefing.
The US president said justice has been done, adding: “No matter how long it takes, wherever you hide, if you pose a threat to our people, the US will find you and take you out.”
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, a $25 million reward on his head, was a key player in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York City. Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike in Kabul at 6:18 am (0148 GMT) on Sunday, according to US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“He has charted a trail of murder and violence against American civilians, American military, American diplomats and American interests. Zawahri was Bin Laden’s leader, his second man and his deputy during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 9/11 planning,” Biden said.
“When I ended our military mission in Afghanistan almost a year ago, I made the decision that after 20 years of war, the United States no longer needed thousands of boots in Afghanistan to protect America from terrorists who want to harm us,” said Biden. and added, “I promised the American people that we would continue to conduct effective counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. That is exactly what we have done.”
Monday surpassed reports that the US killed Zawahiri in Afghanistan in a drone strike. After this, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the strike and said: “On July 31, an airstrike was carried out on a residential house in the Sherpur area of the city of Kabul.”
He said: “The nature of the incident was not initially clear,” but the Islamic emirate’s security and intelligence services have investigated the incident and “initial findings indicated that the attack was carried out by a US drone.”
Mujahid said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan “firmly condemns this attack under any pretext and calls it a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement”. `s capture.
(With input from agencies)