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In Pics | How two US missiles popped out sword blades and took out Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in precision airstrike

The strike was carried out at 9:48 PM on July 30, 2022. A drone fired two Hellfire R9X missiles at Ayman al-Zawahiri as he walked on to the balcony of his safe house in Kabul.

August 03, 2022 / 12:19 PM IST
Concluding a secret operation planned for months, the US killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a precision airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan. A look at how one of the world’s most-wanted terrorist was taken out and the secret weapon used to carry out the strike. (Image: News18 Creative)
Concluding a secret operation planned for months, the US killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a precision airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan. A look at how one of the world’s most-wanted terrorist was taken out and the secret weapon used to carry out the strike. (Image: News18 Creative)
Ayman al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian-born physician who helped Osama bin Laden plot the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. (Image: News18 Creative)
Ayman al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian-born physician who helped Osama bin Laden plot the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. (Image: News18 Creative)
In January 2006, he was the target of a US missile strike near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The attack killed four Al-Qaeda members, but Zawahiri survived. (Image: News18 Creative)
In January 2006, he was the target of a US missile strike near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The attack killed four Al-Qaeda members, but Zawahiri survived. (Image: News18 Creative)
The strike was carried out at 9:48 PM on July 30. A drone fired two Hellfire R9X missiles at Ayman al-Zawahiri as he walked on to the balcony of his safe house in Kabul. (Image: News18 Creative)
The strike was carried out at 9:48 PM on July 30, 2022. A drone fired two Hellfire R9X missiles at Ayman al-Zawahiri as he walked on to the balcony of his safe house in Kabul. (Image: News18 Creative)
Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a precision airstrike in the Shirpur neighborhood of Kabul. (Image: News18 Creative)
Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a precision airstrike in the Shirpur neighborhood of Kabul. (Image: News18 Creative)
The Hellfire missiles are air-to-ground, laser-guided, subsonic missiles. They have several variants, the most intriguing among them is the Hellfire R9X, a variant designed for targeted killings. (Image: News18 Creative)
The Hellfire missiles are air-to-ground, laser-guided, subsonic missiles. They have several variants, the most intriguing among them is the Hellfire R9X, a variant designed for targeted killings. (Image: News18 Creative)
The Hellfire R9X uses pop-out sword blades to kill targets with minimal collateral damage. (Image: News18 Creative)
The Hellfire R9X uses pop-out sword blades to kill targets with minimal collateral damage. (Image: News18 Creative)
According to various news reports, the US has used Hellfire R9X about a half-dozen times, including in operations in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. A look at some targeted strikes using the R9X. (Image: News18 Creative)
According to various news reports, the US has used Hellfire R9X about a half-dozen times, including in operations in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. A look at some targeted strikes using the R9X. (Image: News18 Creative)
Al Badawi was killed by an R9X missile in Yemen on New Year’s Day 2019. He was a prime suspect in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors. There were no other reported causalities. (Image: News18 Creative)
Al Badawi was killed by an R9X missile in Yemen on New Year’s Day 2019. He was a prime suspect in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors. There were no other reported causalities. (Image: News18 Creative)
Military trainer for Al-Qaeda, Abu Yahya al-Uzbeki was killed in a US strike employing an R9X in August 2020. Blades were found embedded in the ground after the attack. (Image: News18 Creative)
Military trainer for Al-Qaeda, Abu Yahya al-Uzbeki, was killed in a US strike employing an R9X in August 2020. Blades were found embedded in the ground after the attack. (Image: News18 Creative)
Abu Hamzah al-Yemini – the leader of Hurras al Din – was killed in the city of Idlib in Syria in a precision strike in June 2022. Images from the scene showed the twisted remains of a motorcycle strewn across the ground. There were no civilian causalities. (Image: News18 Creative)
Abu Hamzah al-Yemini – the leader of Hurras al Din – was killed in the city of Idlib in Syria in a precision strike in June 2022. Images from the scene showed the twisted remains of a motorcycle strewn across the ground. There were no civilian causalities. (Image: News18 Creative)
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first published: Aug 3, 2022 12:19 pm
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