Taliban 'couldn't find' Al-Zawahiri's body after US assassination in Kabul
The Taliban says it has not found the body of the US-assassinated Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, following a probe conducted after his killing.
Last week, the United States confirmed the killing of Al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan.
He was killed by a missile fired from a drone while he stood on a balcony at his Kabul hideout on Sunday, in the biggest blow to the militants since Osama bin Laden was shot dead more than a decade ago.
The Taliban's information minister, Zabiullah Mujahid, was quoted by local Radio Azadi as saying that the investigation launched at the site of the killing concluded that a body was not present at the time of the strike.
"Everything was destroyed, but we did not find a body there," he said.
Prior to the probe, the Taliban denied Al-Zawahiri's presence in Afghanistan.
Sohail Shaheen, the Taliban representative to the United Nations, said in a text message to the Associated Press sent from his office in Doha that the government and the movement's leadership were "never aware" of the allegations about Al-Zawahiri's presence in the capital, Kabul.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, was closely involved in the 11 September 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, which had assured the United States as part of a 2020 agreement on the withdrawal of US-led forces, that it would not harbour other militant groups.