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

According to US media, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a US air strike in Afghanistan.

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to address the nation at 7:30pm in Washington DC (12:30am UK time).

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

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

Mr. Biden will speak from the balcony outside the White House’s Blue Room as he remains isolated in the mansion while continuing to test positive for COVID-19.

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

An unnamed US official said a drone strike was carried out by the CIA in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that an attack 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 give up the war on terror in that country or anywhere else.

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

“We don’t have to fight on land to do that.”

Ayman al-Zawahiri, right, with an image of Osama bin Laden appearing in November 2001
Ayman al-Zawahiri, right, with an image of Osama bin Laden appearing in November 2001

Previewing the attack that would happen 11 months later, Mr Biden said at the time: “We have what’s called an over-the-horizon capability, which means we can attack terrorists and target without American support – or very little, 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 wing. copper in Pennsylvania.

The terrorist attack killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

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