Joe Biden, the president of the United States, said that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, has been killed in a CIA drone attack in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
In a special broadcast address from outside the White House, last night Kabul time, Biden declared that “justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more.”
On the other hand, the Taliban condemned the drone attack and claimed it is a “clear violation” of both international law and the 2020 Doha Agreement, to which the US and the Taliban are parties.
Taliban senior spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid stated in the statement that the attack occurred on a residential home in the Sherpur area of Kabul, a diplomatic neighborhood where several Taliban commanders currently reside.
“Such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the US, Afghanistan, and the region,” Mujahid said.
The US killing of the al-Qaeda chief raises the question of whether the al-Qaeda leader received protection from the Taliban, even though the US has claimed that it can still tackle threats from Afghanistan without a military presence.
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri has made the world a safer place.
He also blamed the Taliban government in Afghanistan for “grossly” breaching its obligations to the international community by “hosting and sheltering” the al-Qaeda leader in Kabul.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian with a $25 million bounty on his head, was one of the masterminds behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, which resulted in the deaths of numerous people.
Late in May, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri reaffirmed the long-standing affiliation and cooperation between his organization and the Taliban by swearing loyalty and allegiance to Hebatullah Akhundzadah, Taliban supreme leader.