al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, has been killed by a US drone strike in Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden addressed the American people on Monday night and confirmed that he had authorised a precision attack to "take out al-Zawahiri once and for all."
He said: "Justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more."
71-year-old al-Zawahiri was regarded as Osama bin Laden's successor as the leader of Al-Qaeda. The news of his death is the biggest blow to the terrorist organization since the death of bin Laden in 2011.
The US said that al-Zawahiri was struck by two Hellfire missiles while on his balcony at his safe house in central Kabul. According to the United States, no one else was killed in the strike.
In a Monday night briefing, a senior national security official said that an unmanned US drone carried out the strike at 9.48pm eastern time on Saturday, July 30, under the order of President Biden.
The official added that the US had discovered earlier in the year that al-Zawahiri had moved to a safe house in Kabul with his family.
He added that senior Taliban members were aware of his presence in the city, raising questions over whether the wanted terrorist had received sanctuary from the group.
This is the first attack on Afghanistan soil since the United States withdrew from the country last year. Speaking from outside the White House, President Biden, said: "We will never again allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven because he is gone."
Mr Biden added that he would ensure "nothing else happens" to allow the country to become "a launching pad against the United States".
Recalling the horror of the September 11 attacks, he said: "We continue to mourn every innocent life that was stolen, remembering the families and lost fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters, brothers, and sisters, friends, and co-workers. "It is my hope that this decisive action will be one more measure of closure. No day shall erase them."
He added: "We will always remain vigilant and we will act and we will always do what is necessary to ensure the safety and security of America and around the globe."