Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri speaks from an undisclosed location in a video. File/AFP
The United States killed Zawahiri with a missile fired from a drone while he stood on a balcony at his Kabul hideout on Sunday, US officials said, in the biggest blow to the militants since Osama Bin Laden was shot dead more than a decade ago.
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"The government and the leadership wasn’t aware of what is being claimed, nor any trace there," Suhail Shaheen, the designated Taliban representative to the United Nations, who is based in Doha, told journalists in a message.
"Investigation is underway now to find out about the veracity of the claim," he said, adding that the results of the investigation would be shared publicly.
Top Taliban leaders have been holding lengthy discussions about how to respond to the US drone strike.
Taliban leaders have remained largely tight-lipped about the Sunday drone strike and have not confirmed the presence or death of Zawahiri in Kabul.
Top Taliban leaders have been holding lengthy discussions about how to respond to the US drone strike, three sources in the group said.
How the Taliban react could have significant repercussions as the group seeks international legitimacy and access to billions of dollars in frozen funds, following their defeat of a US-backed government a year ago.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, was closely involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and was one of the world's most wanted men.
His death in Kabul raises questions about whether he received sanctuary from the Taliban, who had assured the United States as part of a 2020 agreement on the withdrawal of US-led forces that they would not harbour other militant groups.
Shaheen said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the name the Taliban use for the country and their government — was committed to the agreement, signed in the Qatari capital, Doha.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Taliban had "grossly violated" the agreement by hosting and sheltering Zawahiri.
During the summer of 2002, US Secretary of State Colin Powell warned President George W. Bush against invading and occupying Iraq. “You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people.
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad showed the draft of the deal to the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, earlier this week, saying it only needs President Donald Trump's approval.
The move, days after US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
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The Federal Authority for Identity and citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) identified 7 violations, with fines ranging from Dhs500 to Dhs10,000, for violators of the national system for electronically tracking trucks and shipments .
The cause of the explosion was due to two workers doing welding work above one of the tanks.