Thursday, December 8

Ayman al-Zawahiri: Al-Qaeda leader killed in US drone strike

The US has killed the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden has confirmed.


He was killed in a drone strike carried out by the CIA in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Sunday.


Mr Biden said Zawahiri had “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens”.


“Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” he added.


Officials said Zawahiri was on the balcony of a safe house when the drone fired two missiles at him.


Other family members were present, but they were unharmed and only Zawahiri was killed, they added.


Mr Biden said he had given the final approval for the “precision strike” on the 71-year-old al-Qaeda leader.


Zawahiri took over al-Qaeda after the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. He and Bin Laden plotted the 9/11 attacks on the United States together and he was one of the US’s “most wanted terrorists”.


Mr Biden said Zawahiri had also masterminded other acts of violence, including the suicide bombing of the USS Cole naval destroyer in Aden in October 2000.


“No matter where you hide, the US will find you and take you out,” said Mr Biden, adding that “we shall never waver from defending our nation and its people”.


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