After Al-Zawahiri killing, anti-US protests erupt in Afghanistan

The protests began a day after the Taliban said their government had no information that Zawahiri was “entering and living” in the capital Kabul and warned the United States to never repeat an attack on Afghan soil.

Photographs shared on social media showed protesters from at least seven Afghan provinces holding signs saying “Down with the USA,” “Joe Biden, stop lying” and “America is a liar.”

Zawahiri, the top leader of the hardline Islamist militant group, was killed on Sunday by a missile fired from a drone as he stood on the balcony of his Kabul hideout, US officials said, the biggest blow to the militants since the US Navy SEALS shot dead. Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago.

Zawahiri’s death in Kabul raised questions about whether he was given sanctuary by the Taliban, who had assured the United States as part of a 2020 deal on the withdrawal of US-led forces that they would not host other militant groups. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name the Taliban use for the country and its government, warned Washington that “if these incidents are repeated again and if the territory of Afghanistan is violated, the responsibility of the consequences will be from the United States.”

The Taliban took full control of Afghanistan on August 15 last year after US-led foreign forces withdrew and top Afghan leaders, including the country’s president, fled, marking the end of two decades of war.

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