Sun, 14 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 4 (ANI): The US drone that killed Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahri on July 31 in Afghanistan's capital city Kabul was possibly launched from an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, according to reports.

Pakistani publication Dawn reported that the attack was launched from Ganci Airbase, a US transit facility at Manas in northern Kyrgyzstan.

Ganci is a former American military base in Kyrgyzstan, near the Bishkek international airport, according to the US Department of Defence as cited by Dawn. It was operated by the US Air Force, which handed it over to the Kyrgyz military in June 2014.

However, the US administration did not comment on over the exact location of where the drone take-off from and what route it used.

"Zawahiri was killed in an over-the-horizon operation in downtown Kabul, where he was residing as a guest of the Taliban. The house was struck by two Hellfires missiles in a precision, counterterrorism operation at 6:18am Kabul time on Sunday," the Department of Defence said in a statement.

The US said that the Haqqani network terror outfit was aware of the al-Qaeda chief's presence in Kabul.

Moreover, the US State Department has issued a worldwide alert after the death of Zawahiri.

Zawahiri was one of the world's most wanted terrorists and a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was killed in a drone strike carried out by the US in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday.

An Egyptian surgeon, Zawahiri was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11 and he also acted as Osama Bin Laden's personal physician. The strike was conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was carried out by an Air Force drone.An official claimed that Zawahiri was the only person killed in the strike and that none of his family members were injured.

Meanwhile, the Taliban confirmed the killing of 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," responding to which the US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the Taliban had grossly violated the Doha Agreement by hosting and sheltering the Al-Qaeda chief.

The US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February 2020 under then US President Donald Trump. The deal called for withdrawal of US troops from Afghan soil and that the Taliban would abate violence and guarantee that its soil will not be a safe haven for terrorists.

Zawahiri's targeted killing comes a year after the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) added a "deceased" caption under the profile image of Zawahiri on its website. (ANI)

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