US officials say al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri was killed in a CIA drone strike.

File photo of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

WASHINGTON: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan, US officials told Reuters on Monday, the deadliest for the militant group since its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. It’s a big blow.

An official said on condition of anonymity that a drone attack by the CIA was carried out in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday.

In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the attack and strongly condemned it, calling it a violation of “international norms”.

US President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on Monday at 7:30 pm (2330 GMT) on what the White House described as a “successful counter-terrorism operation”.