Taliban are looking into an US “claim” claim that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed during an US drone attack in Kabul according to an official from the Taliban official told reporters on Thursday, which indicates that the leadership of the Taliban were in no way aware that he was in Kabul.
The United States killed Zawahiri with the help of drones as he sat on the balcony of his Kabul refuge on Sunday, US officials said, in the largest hit to terrorists in the region that they have suffered since Osama bin Laden’s killed just a decade ago.
“The government and the top leadership did not know what was being said, and there is no evidence of it,” Suhail Shaheen, the official Taliban official in the United Nations, who is located in Doha the capital of Qatar, addressed journalists in a text message. “Investigation is currently underway to determine the truthfulness of the claims,” he said, saying that the findings of the investigation will be made public.
Taliban leadership has remained quiet about the drone strike. They have not verified the existence or the death of Zawahiri inside Kabul.
The top Taliban leaders have been having lengthy discussions about how they will react against this US drone strikes, according to three sources within the Taliban said.
What the Taliban react to this could have major consequences as the group seeks legitimacy internationally as well as access to millions of dollars worth of frozen money, following their defeat of a government supported by the US last year.
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Zawahiri is an Egyptian doctor, was involved in the September. 11th, 2001 attack on the United States and was one of the the most wanted criminals.
The death of his family in Kabul has raised questions over whether he was given sanctuary by the Taliban who had promised that the United States as part of an agreement in 2020 regarding the withdrawal of forces led by the US to not support other militant groups.
Shaheen stated that Shaheen said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name that the Taliban employ to refer to the country as well as their government was a party to the accord, which was that was signed in Doha. Qatari capital city, Doha.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Taliban had “grossly infringed” the terms of the agreement by sheltering and hosting Zawahiri.