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UN was totally unaware of Zawahiri’s whereabouts : UNSG spokesperson

Member states must ensure that measures taken to fight terrorism are in line with their obligations under international law, a spokesman for the UN secretary-general said.

Member states must ensure that measures taken to fight terrorism are consistent with their obligations under international law, a spokesman for the UN secretary-general said, saying the global body had no information on the whereabouts of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed in a US strike. drone in Kabul.

Al Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, who played a key role in the 9/11 attacks and later created the group’s regional branch in the Indian subcontinent, was killed Saturday in a CIA drone strike on a luxury home. a place in the Afghan capital where he was hiding to be reunited with his family. US President Joe Biden announced his killing on Monday, saying “justice has been served and this terrorist is no more”.

Zawahri assumed leadership of al-Qaeda after the death of its founder, Osama bin Laden.

“No, not at all. We had absolutely no information,” Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said when asked at a daily news conference on Tuesday whether the UN had any knowledge that Zawahri was in Kabul, the Afghan capital .

Responding to a question about the UN’s response to Zawahiri’s killing, Dujarric said the world organization remains committed to fighting terrorism and strengthening international cooperation to combat the threat.

“Member states must ensure that any measures taken to fight terrorism are in line with their obligations under international law,” he added.

Zawahri’s death is the biggest blow to the global terrorist network since 2011, when Laden was killed in Pakistan.

Dujarric noted that the UN is not a party to the 2020 Doha Agreement, which outlined the terms of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and required the Taliban to ensure that the group would not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al. -Qaida to use the territory of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.

Our relationship with the de facto authorities in Kabul will continue and we will continue to … for the sake of the people of Afghanistan, we will continue to press them on human rights, especially on girls’ rights, on women’s rights, and on the need to satisfy the many, many overwhelming, could say, the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, he said.

Dujarric repeated to make it very clear that of course we had no idea, no information about where Zawahiri was, that he was in Kabul or anything else. I don’t think it’s something we’re aware of. Obviously we’re not… we don’t have any information on that.

The New York Times reported that US intelligence agencies tracked down Zawahiri in Kabul earlier this year and then spent months establishing that it was indeed him hiding in a house in a crowded part of the Afghan capital.

Once the CIA received authorization from Biden for the operation a week ago, two Hellfire missiles were used to kill Zawahiri on the balcony of the house without killing anyone else, including members of his family or any nearby civilians, the NYT report said.

Zawahiri’s killing raised immediate questions about the terrorist leader’s presence in Afghanistan a year after Biden withdrew US forces from the war-torn country, clearing the way for the Taliban to regain control of the country, the NYT reported.

Al-Zawahiri moved back to Afghanistan earlier this year, apparently believing he would be safe there, the NYT report quoted officials as saying.

However, the report quoted a US official as saying that Zawahri’s presence in Kabul was a clear violation of former President Donald Trump’s and later Biden’s acceptance that the Taliban would not provide al-Qaeda with a safe haven. to launch further attacks against the Americans.

The NYT reported that it was unclear whether Biden would take any action against the Taliban since Zawahiri was found and killed in Kabul despite what the Taliban had pledged to do.

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