Taliban claims it was unaware al-Qaeda chief al-Zawahri was in Afghanistan earlier than US drone strike

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The Taliban on Thursday mentioned it was not conscious that al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri had been staying in Kabul, 4 days after he was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital. 

In a transfer to reverse terse feedback launched by the Taliban on Tuesday after President Biden announced the drone strike Sunday, the Taliban mentioned it had ordered “investigative and intelligence businesses to conduct critical and complete investigations on varied elements of the talked about occasion.”

The Taliban, which overthrew Afghanistan almost a yr in the past, first condemned the strike and mentioned it was a “clear violation of… the Doha Settlement.”

Afghan Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen speaks during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen speaks throughout a joint information convention in Moscow, Russia. (AP Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

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Nevertheless, below the 2020 Doha Settlement signed by the U.S. and the rebel group, the Taliban pledged to not enable protected haven for members of al-Qaeda or anybody looking for to assault the U.S.

Al-Zawahri was discovered to have been residing in a Kabul protected home that had ties to the deputy chief of the Taliban.

In keeping with U.S. officers, the al-Qaeda chief had stayed at house of an aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, prime deputy of the Taliban’s supreme chief Mullah Haibatallah Akhundzada, for months.

Al-Zawahri was killed by a U.S. drone strike after he stepped exterior onto a balcony.

Recently slain Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahri speaks on the 11th anniversary of Usama bin Laden's death.

Not too long ago slain Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahri speaks on the eleventh anniversary of Usama bin Laden’s dying. (AP Picture/Mazhar Ali Khan, File)

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The Taliban claimed in a assertion Thursday that it “has no information of the arrival and residence” of al-Zawahri in Afghanistan. 

The assertion was issued after Taliban leaders reportedly held a high-level assembly Wednesday, although the small print of the assembly stay unclear. 

Al-Zawahri’s presence in Kabul and the following killing of the al-Qaeda chief have additional strained Washington-Kabul relations as Taliban leaders are attempting to secure international funding to help Afghanistan’s crippling economic system.

Usama bin Laden, left, and al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

Usama bin Laden, left, and al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri. (Hamid Mir/Editor/Ausaf Newspaper for Day by day Daybreak/Handout by way of REUTERS/File Picture)

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The U.S. and the Taliban have additionally reportedly engaged in latest talks over $3.5 billion value of Afghan belongings the U.S. froze following the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani presidency in August 2021. 

The Taliban additionally tried to guarantee Washington in its Thursday assertion by saying “there is no such thing as a hazard from the territory of Afghanistan to any nation, together with America.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.  

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