Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri killed in U.S. strike in Afghanistan, Biden says
Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri (R) with Osama bin Laden. (File: Reuters)
WASHINGTON: The United States killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, President Joe Biden said.
This was the biggest blow to the militant group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, Reuters reported.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head, helped coordinate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, it said.
U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Zawahiri died after a U.S. drone strike in the Afghan capital Kabul at 6:18 a.m. on Sunday.
“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden, who is recovering from COVID-19, said in remarks from the White House. “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.”
U.S. intelligence determined with “high confidence” through multiple intelligence streams that the man killed was Zawahiri, one senior administration official told reporters. He was killed on the balcony of a “safe house” in Kabul that he shared with other members of his family. No other casualties occurred.
(Inputs from Reuters)