Taliban Claims They Were Unaware of al-Zawahiri’s Presence in Kabul

Taliban on Thursday said they have no knowledge of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan, days after US killed al-Qaeda chief by a drone strike in downtown Kabul.

US officials said R9X. “Hellfire” missiles from a drone killed the 71-year-old al-Zawahiri after he appeared in the balcony of his safe house in Kabul on Sunday.

The house is located in Sherpur area in Police District 10th, and surrounded by luxury buildings that were previously owned by the top government officials and political leaders.

“His (al-Zawahiri) death is a significant blow to al-Qaeda and will degrade the group’s ability to operate, including against the US homeland,” US Department of Defense said.

The Taliban, who said they had no information about al-Zawahiri “entering and living” in capital city Kabul, has warned the US to not repeat an attack on Afghan soil again.

“The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has instructed the investigative and intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive and serious investigation into the various aspects of the incident,” Taliban said in a statement.

“If such action is repeated, the responsibility of any consequences will be on the United States of America,” the statement said, referring to the drone strike in Kabul.

US President Joe Biden said that al-Zawahiri “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens, American service members, American diplomats, and American interests. Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.”

Zawahiri’s assassination is the biggest blow to al-Qaeda since US killed his boss Osama bin Laden in 2011 in Pakistan. Zawahiri was also behind the 9/11 terror attacks and had been hunted by US for more than two decades.

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