The Taliban said on Thursday they’ve no knowledge of Ayman al- Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan, days after US President Joe Biden blazoned the Al Qaeda chief’s payoff by a drone strike in Kabul.

Zawahiri’s assassination is the biggest blow to Al Qaeda since US special forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011 and calls into question the Taliban’s pledge not to harbour militant groups.

“ The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no information about Ayman al- Zawahiri’s appearance and stay in Kabul, ” said an sanctioned statement — the Taliban’s first citation of his name since Biden’s advertisement.

Zawahiri was believed to be in charge of steering Al Qaeda’s operations — including the9/11 attacks — as well as serving as bin Laden’s particular croaker.

A elderly US administration functionary said the 71- time-old Egyptian was on the deck of a three- storey house in the Afghan capital when targeted with two Hellfire dumdums beforehand on Sunday.

Read further How the CIA linked and killed Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri

Thursday’s precisely stated Taliban statement neither verified his presence in Afghanistan nor conceded his death.

“ The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has instructed the intelligence agencies to hold a comprehensive and serious disquisition, ” it said.

“ The fact that America raided our home and violated all transnational principles, we explosively condemn the action formerly again.

Still, the responsibility of any consequences will be on the United States of America, “ If similar action is repeated. ”

The Taliban reiterated in their statement that there was “ no trouble ” to any country from Afghanistan’s soil.

They called on Washington to cleave to the Doha pact inked in February 2020 that paved the way for the pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan, ending two decades of US- led military intervention in the country.

In publicizing Zawahiri’s death on Tuesday, Biden declared “ justice had been delivered ” to the families of victims of the9/11 attacks on the US.

Sunday’s drone attack was the first knownover-the-horizon strike by the US on a target in Afghanistan since Washington withdrew its forces from the country on August 31 last time, days after the Taliban swept back to power.

The house targeted in the strike is in Sherpur, one of Kabul’s most rich neighbourhoods, with several estates enthralled by high- ranking Taliban officers and commanders.

Zawahiri took over Al Qaeda after bin Laden was killed, and had a$ 25 million US bounty on his head.

News of his death comes a month before the first anniversary of the final pullout of US colors from Afghanistan, leaving the country in the hands of the Taliban insurrection that fought Western forces since the US- led irruption in 2001.

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