World

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri killed by US drone strike in Afghanistan, US media reports | US News

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been killed by a US airstrike in Afghanistan, according to US media reports.

US President Joe Biden is set to deliver an address to the nation at 7.30pm in Washington DC (12.30pm UK time).

A senior official in his administration said: “Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a key Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan.

“The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”

Mr. Biden will speak from the balcony of the White House’s Blue Room as he remains in isolation at the residence while he continues to test positive for COVID-19.

The death of al-Zawahiri would be the biggest blow to al-Qaeda since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in 2011.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a drone strike was carried out by the CIA in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of “international principles”.

Speaking on August 31, 2021, after the last US troops left Afghanistan, Mr Biden said the US would not let up in its fight against terrorism in that country or anywhere else.

“We will maintain the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries,” he said.

“We just don’t have to fight a ground war to do it.”

Image:
Ayman al-Zawahiri, right, with Osama bin Laden in a picture taken in November 2001

Previewing the strike that would take place 11 months later, Mr Biden then said: “We have what are called over-the-horizon capabilities, which means we can attack terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground – or very few, if necessary.”

Al-Zawahiri was one of the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks in which four passenger planes were hijacked and flown into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Almost 3,000 people died in the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri killed by US drone strike in Afghanistan, US media reports | US News

Source link Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri killed by US drone strike in Afghanistan, US media reports | US News

Back to top button