US kills Al-Qaeda terror group chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan drone strike

WashingtonEdited By: Vyomica BerryUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 11:20 AM IST

File photo: Osama bin Laden sits with his adviser Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian linked to the al Qaeda network, during an interview Photograph:(Reuters)

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In 2011, Zawahiri took over as Al-Qaeda chief after US forces killed the terrorist group's founder Osama bin Laden

In the biggest blow to the al Qaeda terror group since its founder, Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, his successor Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan over the weekend, US President Joe Biden revealed.

Bolstering the credibility of Washington's assurances that the United States can still address threats from Afghanistan without a military presence, the drone attack is the first known American strike inside the country since the withdrawal of its troops a year ago.

Condemning the strike as a violation of “international principles", Taliban which took over control of Afghanistan last August, said the attack went against the 2020 agreement on US troop withdrawal.

Several activists had raised concerns that Zawahiri, who was unwell for a long period of time, received sanctuary from the Taliban following their takeover of Kabul in August 2021.

In 2011, Zawahiri took over Al-Qaeda chief after US forces killed the terrorist group's founder Osama bin Laden at a house in a military garrison in Abottabad, near Pakistan's capital Islamabad. 

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head, comes from a distinguished Egyptian family. His grandfather was an imam at al-Azhar University in Cairo. 

Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks organised by al Qaeda, which is considered the deadliest attack on American soil. 

Laden was considered as a mastermind of the attacks and Zawahiri, who posed as his physician, helped him in the execution of his deadly plan.

Watch | Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri killed in Afghanistan, 'justice has been delivered,' says Joe Biden

Zawahiri was sent to prison for his involvement in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

According to the 'Rewards for Justice' website, Zawahiri is believed to have plotted the attack on the USS Cole naval vessel in Yemen which killed 17 American sailors and injured more than 30 others.

For his role in the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 224 people were killed, he was indicted in the United States.

(With inputs from agencies)

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