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Monday, February 26, 2024

Al-Qaeda chief Zawahiri killed by US in Afghanistan


 In a precision-based attack in Kabul, the United States last night killed Al-Qaeda terror outfit chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was the architect of 9/11 carnage and had often been threatening attacks in India.

The 71-year-old Egyptian national, who took over the leadership of Al-Qaeda after the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, was eliminated when two missiles fired by a drone struck his safe house, according to officials in the US Administration.

In the operation carried out by the CIA, only Zawahiri was killed in the attack while his family members, who were present in the building, remained unharmed, according to the officials.

Zawahiri was on the balcony of the house when two missiles fired from the drone hit him, they said.

“Now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” said US President Joe Biden about the successful operation which had been authorised by him.

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

Zawahiri, along with the then Al-Qaeda chief Laden, was the architect of the 9/11 attacks in the US and was since then on the ‘Most Wanted’ list of terrorists of America.

Al-Qaeda, under Zawahiri, had attempted to spread its wings to Kashmir where it formed Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind outfit in 2017. However, the Indian security forces decimated the attempt by eliminating its top brass, including the founder chief terrorist Zakir Musa.

Zawahiri had also been talking, off and on, about Kashmir and would compare it to Palestine.

Biden said the killing of the Al-Qaeda leader would bring closure to families of the victims of the 2001 attacks.

Zawahiri had also masterminded other acts of violence, including the suicide bombing of the USS Cole naval destroyer in Aden in October 2000 which killed 17 US sailors, he said.

“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,” said Biden, adding that “we shall never waver from defending our nation and its people”.

Zawahiri, who helped found the Egyptian Islamic Jihad militant group, was often referred to as Bin Laden’s right-hand man and the chief ideologue of Al-Qaeda.

A Taliban spokesman described the US operation as a violation of international principles.

“Such actions are a repetition of the failed experiences of the past 20 years and are against the interests of the United States of America, Afghanistan and the region,” the spokesman added.

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