Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has been killed by a US airstrike in Afghanistan, according to US media reports.
US president Joe Biden is set to deliver an address to the nation at 12.30am UK time.
A senior official in his administration said: “Over the weekend, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant Al Qaeda target in Afghanistan.
“The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”
The death of al-Zawahri would be the biggest blow to the militant group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed by the US in 2011.
UPDATE 2-Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri killed in CIA drone strike, U.S. officials say
AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT/USA-DRONE-CIA (UPDATE 2)
INTRO: UPDATE 2-Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri killed in CIA drone strike, U.S. officials say
(Recasts with Zawahiri killing)
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda leader Ayman
al-Zawahiri has been killed in a CIA drone strike in
Afghanistan, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday, the biggest
blow to the militant group since its founder Osama bin Laden was
killed in 2011.
One of the officials, speaking on the condition of
anonymity, said a drone strike was carried out by the CIA in the
Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid
confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it,
calling it a violation of “international principles.”
U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on Monday at
7:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) on what the White House described as a
“successful counter-terrorism operation.”
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant
Date: 01/08/2022 Time: 21:47