Taliban spokesman claimed that they had no idea al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was residing in the Afghan capital of Kabul, which is where he was allegedly killed in a drone strike over the weekend.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no information about Ayman al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul,” the Taliban said in a statement Thursday.
“The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has instructed the investigative and intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive and serious investigation into the various aspects of the incident,” the Taliban added.
According to Biden, Zawahiri was killed by a US drone strike early Sunday morning at the house he was residing in in Kabul.
A senior US administration official said that senior Taliban figures from the Haqqani network knew about the al Qaeda chief’s presence in the area and even restricted access to the safe house and relocated members of his family following the strike, including his daughter and her children.
In the Sherpur area of the Green Zone, where most of the officials from the previous Afghan government lived, al-Zawahiri hid in a house.
Once upon a time, Sherpur was the site of an old military base, but during the decades of fighting in the 1990s and the Taliban’s rule, it was left abandoned for the most part.
Defense ministry personnel abandoned it in 2003, and the government divided it into more than 50 plots and handed them over to powerful individuals, including government ministers and other high-ranking officials, and warlords. Their houses quickly became known as “poppy palaces.”
Most owners of Sherpur houses fled the country after the Ashraf Ghani government fell in August 2021, and their properties were confiscated by the Taliban.