The al-Qaeda leader has been reportedly killed in a CIA drone strike on a residential area in Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul.
US President Joe Biden claimed in a report aired on TV on Monday that Ayman al-Zawahiri, 71, one of the world's most wanted terrorists and suspected mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, was killed in the airstrike over the weekend.
"I gave the final approval to go get him," he said.
"Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more," Biden claimed. He also claimed there were no civilian casualties in the attack.
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban confirmed the US airstrike on a residence in the Sherpur area of Kabul. They condemned the attack as a violation of international laws and a breach of a deal signed between the US and Taliban forces.
US troops withdrew from Afghanistan almost a year ago after the Taliban signed the 2020 Doha deal in which they agreed not to allow Afghanistan to be used again as a launchpad for international terrorists, but experts believe the group never broke their ties with Al-Qaeda.
Zawahiri reportedly had taken over al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan.
He was an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in Cairo and later moved to Europe before joining bin Laden in Sudan or Afghanistan and turning into an extremist.
Zawahiri, who had been on the run for 20 years since the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States, had a $25 million US bounty on his head.
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