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A United States drone strike killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at a Kabul hideout, officials in Washington said, in what is the biggest blow to the militants since former chief Osama bin Laden was shot dead in Pakistan over a decade ago.
It was the first known over-the-horizon strike by the US on a target in Afghanistan since Washington withdrew its forces from the country on August 31 last year, days after the Taliban swept back to power.
“Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said in a sombre televised address, adding he hoped al-Zawahiri’s death would bring “closure” to families of the 3,000 people killed in the US on September 11, 2001. “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” he added.