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[WATCH] U.S. Operation Has Killed Al Qaida Leader al-Zawahri

[WATCH] U.S. Operation Has Killed Al Qaida Leader al-Zawahri

A senior U.S. official told the Reuters news service that over the weekend the US conducted a successful operation against a “significant Al Qaeda target” in Afghanistan. The airstrikes killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, it was announced late on Monday.

White House officials declined to confirm that al-Zawahri was killed but noted in a statement that โ€œthe United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.โ€

Current and former U.S. military officials began hearing Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a CIA-led drone strike, but the Biden administration delayed releasing the information until his death could be confirmed, according to the Associated Press. The CIA has not yet publicly commented.

Al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born surgeon turned terrorist leader, also played a key role in the planning of the September 11th terrorist attacks and had also been the leader of al-Qaida since US soldiers killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 during the Obama administration.

 

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President Joe Biden is expected to discuss further details of the operation in a 7:30 p.m. EST address to the nation from the balcony off the White House Blue Room.

While Al-Zawahiri never loomed as large as bin Laden, his killing is nonetheless a major win for the United States in the ongoing struggle against Islamist terrorism. And Al-Qaeda is not as strong a group as it once was, with other extremist outfits gaining ground. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of “international principle.”

[This is a breaking and developing story, please check back for updates]

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