Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri dies in US drone strike

Saudi Arabia welcomed the US statement about the assassination of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports that the announcement was made shortly after the President Joe Biden announced that the United States had killed one of the world’s most wanted terrorists and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks back in 2001.

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The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Zawahiri “is considered one of the leaders of terrorism who has led the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the United States, Saudi Arabia and several other countries of the world.”

“Thousands of innocent people of different nationalities and religions, including citizens of Saudi Arabia, were killed.”

“The Kingdom’s government stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and concerted international efforts to combat and eradicate terrorism, calling on all countries to cooperate within this framework to protect innocent people from terrorist organizations,” the statement said.

In a televised address, Biden said he gave final approval for a precision strike against Zawahiri in the Afghan capital Kabul over the weekend.

“Justice has been served and this terrorist leader is no more,” Biden said, adding that he hoped al-Zawahiri’s death would “close” the families of the 3,000 people killed in the United States on 9/11.

A senior administration official said that Zawahiri was on the balcony of his home in Kabul when two Hellfire missiles were fired at him an hour after sunrise on July 31, and that there were no US boats in Afghanistan.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who grew up in a comfortable Cairo family before turning to violent radicalism, was on the run for 20 years after the 9/11 attacks.

He led al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces in Pakistan in 2011 and had a US$25 million bounty placed on his head.

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