Afghans skeptical of al-Qaeda leader's death in Kabul

"I don't think it's true.

Afghans skeptical of al-Qaeda leader's death in Kabul

"I don't think it's true. It's just propaganda," said Kabul resident Fahim Shah, 66.

The death of Ayman al-Zawahiri, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world and for whom the United States promised 25 million dollars for any information allowing him to be found, was announced on Monday live on television by the US President Joe Biden.

Sunday morning, Afghan time, "on my orders, the United States carried out an air strike on Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed the emir of Al-Qaeda", he launched during a short speech from the White House.

A drone attack, with two missiles, without any military presence on the ground or any other victim than al-Zawahiri, and without significant damage, said an American official.

"We have known such propaganda in the past and there was nothing (real). In reality, I don't think he was killed here," added Fahim Shah, interviewed by AFP.

Abdul Kabir, another Kabul resident, heard the explosion caused by the strike shortly after 6:15 a.m. on Sunday. But, skeptical, he asks the United States to provide evidence to support its claim that it was Zawahiri who was killed.

"They should show the world that they killed this man and produce proof of it," he said.

- "Air attack" -

"They could have killed someone else and announced that it was the leader of Al-Qaeda... There are many other places where he could be hiding, in Pakistan or even in Iraq,” he suggests.

According to the Americans, Ayman al-Zawahiri lived in a three-storey house located in Sherpur, an affluent district in the center of the Afghan capital, where several villas are occupied by high-ranking Taliban officials and commanders.

He was killed while he was on his balcony, where he had been spotted many times, and for long periods.

On Sunday, the Afghan interior minister denied reports of a drone strike in Kabul, telling AFP that a rocket had hit "an empty house" in the capital.

But early Tuesday morning, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that an "air strike" had been carried out using "US drones".

Mohammad Bilal, a student, also thinks it unlikely that the leader of Al-Qaeda will live in Kabul.

"It's a terrorist group and I don't think they would send their leader to Afghanistan," said the young man.

"The leaders of most terrorist groups, including the Taliban, lived either in Pakistan or in the United Arab Emirates when they were in conflict with the former Afghan forces," he recalls.

On the other hand, for Freshta, a housewife who believes in the death of the leader of al-Qaeda, the fact “to know that he lived here” in Kabul is “shocking”, she says, refusing to give her opinion. name.

Critic of the Taliban government, a trader from the center of the capital, who also did not wish to be identified, believes that the porosity of the Afghan borders makes it easy for terrorist groups to enter the country.

"We have no government. We are incapable of protecting ourselves, our soil and our properties," he commented.

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