KABUL — The Taliban on Tuesday confirmed the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman-al-Zawahiri and condemned the drone strike carried out by the United States in Kabul over the weekend.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that a strike took place on a residence in the capital and called it a violation of “international principles.”
A loud explosion echoed through Kabul early Sunday morning, according to Tolo News.
“A house was hit by a rocket in Sherpoor. There were no casualties as the house was empty,” Abdul Nafi Takor a spokesman of the Interior Ministry had claimed earlier.
US President Joe Biden in a televised address on Monday (US time) announced that Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in an air strike by the United States stating that “Justice has been delivered.”
Al-Zawahiri was one of the world’s most wanted militants and a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attack. Zawahiri’s targeted killing comes a year after the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country.
Meanwhile, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the Taliban had grossly violated the Doha Agreement by hosting and sheltering the Al-Qaeda chief.
“By hosting and sheltering the leader of al Qa’ida in Kabul, the Taliban grossly violated the Doha Agreement and repeated assurances to the world that they would not allow Afghan territory to be used by terrorists to threaten the security of other countries,” Blinken said in a statement.
The US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020 under the Presidency of former US President Donald Trump. The deal stated the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghan soil and the Taliban would abate violence and guarantee that its soil will not be a safe haven for terrorists.
In the statement, Blinken said the Taliban also betrayed the Afghan people and their own stated desire for recognition from the international community and normalisation of ties.
“In the face of the Taliban’s unwillingness or inability to abide by their commitments, we will continue to support the Afghan people with robust humanitarian assistance and to advocate for the protection of their human rights, especially of women and girls,” Bliken said in the statement. — (ANI)