JUST IN: United States Drone Strike Kill Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan

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The United States conducted a rare counter terrorism operation over the weekend against a “significant” al-Qaida target in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official said Monday. “The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties,” the official said without giving further details.

Africhome sources said the strike killed top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was deputy to the terror group’s founder, Osama bin Laden, when they orchestrated the September 2001 attacks against the U.S. out of their sanctuary in Afghanistan.

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The confirmation came more than an hour after the Taliban rulers in Kabul said a missile attack on Sunday against a residential compound in the Afghan capital was the work of an American drone.

The Islamist insurgent group took control of Afghanistan on August 15 as the U.S.-led foreign troops withdrew and the Western-backed government in Kabul as well as its security forces collapsed in the face of the stunning nationwide Taliban assault.

The U.S.-led military coalition invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and dislodged the then-Taliban government in Kabul to punish it for harboring the al-Qaida terror network. Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri escaped the international military action. U.S. special forces later located and killed bin Laden deep inside neighboring Pakistan in May of 2011.

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