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US kills top Al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri in drone strike (Lead)

The US killed high Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend dealing the terrorist group a serious blow, confirms President Joe Biden.
WASHINGTON: The US killed high Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend dealing the terrorist group a serious blow, confirms President Joe Biden.

Al-Zawahiri had overseen the September 11 assaults on the US in 2001, that killed 2,977 individuals, together with Osama bin-Laden, who was killed by the US in 2011 in Pakistan.

Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian by delivery who had skilled to be a medical physician, had a US reward of $25 million for data resulting in his seize. The US holds him accountable additionally for the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and on its naval ship USS Cole in 2000.

He additionally had an extended historical past of baiting and threatening India. Final April, he praised an Indian scholar who stood up in opposition to efforts to forestall Muslim ladies from sporting hijab. The subsequent month, in May, he referred to as the abrogation of Article 370 a “slam” for Muslims.

Al-Zawahiri was killed by two Hellfire missiles fired at him from a CIA-run drone whereas he was on the balcony of a home in Kabul the place he had been staying along with his household. No members of his household or different civilians have been wounded or killed within the strike, in line with US officers who briefed reporters.

President Biden stated in an tackle to the nation, and maybe the world, that US intelligence had tracked the Al Qaeda chief to Afghanistan early within the yr and he gave the go forward to the operation to kill al-Zawahiri every week in the past on July 25 Officers stated Biden reviewed a mannequin of the home early in July to verify there have been no collateral casualties.

“Our intelligence community located Zawahiri earlier this year,” Biden, who’s coping with “rebound positivity” of Covid-19, stated in his tackle.

“He had moved to downtown Kabul to reunite with members of his immediate family. After carefully considering clear and convincing evidence of his location, I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield once and for all.”

Biden added: “This mission was carefully planned, rigorously minimizing the risk of harm to other civilians. And one week ago, after being advised the conditions were optimal, I gave the final approval to go get him and the mission was a success.”

The US studied Zawahiri’s conduct and that of his members of the family for weeks — the ladies within the household took circuitous routes from and to house to keep away from trackers, as an illustration — to cut back the potential of hitting others.

The strike got here round a yr after the US left Afghanistan, which raised questions on its capacity to hold out counter-terrorism operation there. The Biden administration had sought to allay such considerations and fears saying it can retain “over-the-horizon” functionality from neighboring international locations.

Al-Zawahiri’s most spectacular operations have been in opposition to the US, however he had India in his crosshairs as properly. In April, he got here out in assist of Muskan Khan, an Indian muslim scholar who stood as much as these making an attempt to forestall Muslim ladies from sporting hijab to academic establishments.

“May Allah reward her for showing a moral lesson to sisters plagued by an inferiority complex via-a-vis the decadent Western world,” al-Zawahiri stated in a video launched in April.

A month later in May, he opposed the Modi authorities’s determination to abrogate Article 370, which ascribed particular standing to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“When the Hindu government of India took the infamous decision to annex Kashmir, it was the slap on the faces of the governments ruling over Muslim lands,” he stated in a video.

He added: “The decision was taken with full confidence in the support that India enjoys from international criminals and the ineptitude of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, the de facto rulers of Pakistan.”

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