Taliban say they have been unaware of Al Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul

The Taliban mentioned on Thursday that they’d no data of Ayman Al Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan, days after US President Joe Biden introduced the Al Qaeda chief’s killing through drone strike in Kabul.

Sunday’s drone assault was the primary identified over-the-horizon strike by the US on a goal in Afghanistan since American troops withdrew from the nation on August 31 final 12 months, days after the Taliban swept again into energy.

The home hit within the strike was in Sherpur, one in all Kabul’s most prosperous neighbourhoods and the place a number of high-ranking Taliban officers and commanders dwell.

News of the strike prompted hypothesis that the extremist group knew Al Zawahiri was residing there. The previous US particular envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, advised NPR he “wouldn’t be shocked that some parts of the Taliban might have helped us, that tipped us off when it comes to the situation”.

Taliban leaders have remained largely tight-lipped concerning the assault and have but to substantiate both the presence or the loss of life of Al Zawahiri in Kabul.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no details about Ayman Al Zawahiri’s arrival and keep in Kabul,” the group mentioned in an official assertion.

Suhail Shaheen, the designated Taliban consultant to the UN, echoed the assertion.

“The federal government and the management wasn’t conscious of what’s being claimed, nor any hint there,” he mentioned.

“Investigation is below manner now to search out out concerning the veracity of the declare,” he mentioned and added that the outcomes of the investigation can be shared publicly.

Referring to the drone strike, the Taliban mentioned “if such incidents are repeated once more and if the territory of Afghanistan is violated, then accountability for any penalties can be on the USA”.

Al Zawahiri’s assassination is the largest blow to Al Qaeda since US particular forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. It additionally calls into query the Taliban’s promise to not harbour militant teams.

The Al Qaeda chief was believed to be in command of steering the group’s operations, together with the 9/11 assaults, in addition to serving as bin Laden’s private physician.

A senior US official mentioned the 71-year-old Egyptian was on the balcony of a three-storey home within the Afghan capital when the constructing was hit by two Hellfire missiles early on Sunday.

In saying Al Zawahiri’s loss of life on Tuesday, Mr Biden declared “justice had been delivered” to the households of victims of the 9/11 assaults.

Up to date: August 04, 2022, 2:12 PM