AP sources: US operation killed al-Qaida leader al-Zawahri

As seen on a computer screen from a DVD prepared by Al-Sahab production, al-Qaida's Ayman al-Zawahri speaks in Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 20, 2006. Al-Zawahri, the top al-Qaida leader, was killed by the U.S. over the weekend in Afghanistan. President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak about the operation on Monday night, Aug. 1, 2022, from the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan this weekend killed Ayman al-Zawahri, who took over as al-Qaida leader after Osama bin Laden's death in a U.S. raid. President Joe Biden was set to announce the killing Monday, delivering a significant counterterrorism win just 11 months after American troops left the country after a two-decade war.

The strike, carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, was confirmed by five people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity before Biden was set to brief the American people on the details of the operation in a 7:30 p.m. EDT address to the nation.

Current and former officials began hearing Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, but the administration delayed releasing the information until his death could be confirmed, according to one person.

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