Kabul, Aug 5: Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike by the US in Afghanistan on July 31. Ambassador Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, the Afghan Envoy to Tajikistan, said family members of Haqqanis were also killed in the US strike.
The Haqqani network is an Islamist terror outfit founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, who emerged as the insurgent commander during the anti-Soviet war.
"According to the reports we have from Kabul, certain family members of the Haqqani group were killed in the US strike. That house belonged to Haqqanis and they have left Kabul," Ambassador Mohammad Zahir Aghbar told India Today. The multi-storey bungalow in Kabul, where the Al-Qaeda leader was hiding, was owned by a close aide of the interior minister of Afghanistan, Sirajuddin Haqqani. According to the Afghan envoy, Sirajuddin Haqqani and other top leaders have left safe houses in Kabul and have moved somewhere else, adding that several terrorist groups are still present in Afghanistan. "The killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri is not important for the people of Afghanistan. What is important for us is for the international community to know that terrorism is growing in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban," he said. Speaking about Pakistan's involvement in divulging Al-Qaeda leaders' whereabouts, the Afghan envoy said since the US has a very diverse relationship with Pakistan, it can easily access a lot of things within Afghanistan. "Pakistan is a strategic partner of the US. Appreciate groups who informed the US of Zawahiri's whereabouts. It has exposed the Taliban," the ambassador said.
A US drone strike in Afghanistan this weekend killed Ayman al-Zawahri, who helped Osama bin Laden plot the 9/11 attacks on the US and ensured al-Qaeda survived and spread in the years after. US President Joe Biden announced the killing of al-Zawahri, delivering a significant counterterrorism win just 11 months after American troops left the country.