Anti-US protests erupt in Afghanistan

Photos on social media show protesters with banners reading "Down with USA", "Joe Biden, stop lying" and "America is a liar". PHOTO: GADDAFIABDUR/TWITTER

KABUL (REUTERS) - Hundreds of Afghans carried anti-American banners on Friday (Aug 5) to protest against a US drone strike that Washington says killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri this month.

The protests were launched a day after the Taliban said its government had no information about Zawahiri "entering and living" in capital city Kabul and warned the United States to never repeat an attack on Afghan soil.

Photos shared on social media showed protesters in at least seven Afghan provinces carrying banners reading "Down with USA", "Joe Biden, stop lying" and "America is a liar".

Zawahiri, the top leader of the hardline Islamist militant group, was killed with a missile fired from a drone while he stood on a balcony at his Kabul hideout on Sunday, US officials stated, the biggest blow to the militants since US Navy Seals shot dead Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago.

Zawahiri's death in Kabul raised questions about whether he received sanctuary from the Taliban, who had assured the US as part of a 2020 agreement on the withdrawal of US-led forces that it would not harbour other militant groups.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - the name the Taliban uses for the country and its government - warned Washington that "if such incidents are repeated again and if the territory of Afghanistan is violated, then responsibility for any consequences will be on United States".

The Taliban gained complete control over Afghanistan on Aug 15 last year after US-led foreign forces withdrew and top Afghan leaders - including the country's president - fled, marking an end to two decades of war.

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