The reports of a US drone strike killing Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the al-Qaeda network, in Kabul Afghanistan, has drawn widespread reactions at the national and international level.
US President Joe Biden announced the killing of al-Qaeda's leader in a White House live announcement.
“On Saturday, at my direction. The United States successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan and killed the Amir of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Biden said.
“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. 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 said.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the “by hosting and sheltering the leader of al Qaida 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.”
“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,” he said.
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement confirmed that a strike took place and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of "international principles."
A loud explosion echoed through Kabul early Sunday morning.
"A house was hit by a rocket in Sherpoor. There were no casualties as the house was empty," Abdul Nafi Takor, spokesman of the interior ministry, said earlier.
Reuters reported the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry reaction, as quoted by the State News Agency: “Zawahiri is considered one of the leaders of terrorism that led the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Zawahiri’s death a step toward a safer world. “Canada will keep working with our global partners to counter terrorist threats, promote peace and security, and keep people here at home and around the world safe,” he said.
Speaking to the Australian Parliament, the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:
“Let terrorists see that Afghanistan will never, ever be a safe haven for their hatred, their terrorism and their attacks on our humanity."
Albanese said that Zawahiri has long been suspected of plotting the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 in which 17 US sailors died and dozens more were injured.