The United States said yesterday that it has “no DNA confirmation” of the death of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was apparently killed in a drone attack in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.

“We do not have DNA confirmation, and we don’t need it,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. He explained that the US government had “visual confirmation” as well as confirmation “through other sources.” Kirby added that there was a “small Al-Qaeda presence remaining in Afghanistan.”

US President Joe Biden announced on Monday that Al-Zawahiri was killed in a US strike in Afghanistan at the weekend. The Egyptian-born doctor became one of the world’s most wanted men after being accused of masterminding the September 2011 World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks. He took over the leadership of Al-Qaeda after the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Washington was said to have offered a $25 million reward for information about his whereabouts.