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U.S. Says Al-Qaeda Leader Killed In Air Strike In Afghanistan

  • RFE/RL

Flames rise from the Marriott hotel following a powerful bomb blast in Islamabad in 2008.


The U.S. military has confirmed that an air strike on March 19 in Afghanistan killed Qari Yasin, described as an Al-Qaeda leader responsible for several high-profile attacks that killed dozens of people, including two U.S. service members.

The Pentagon on March 25 said the air strike on Yasin -- a “senior terrorist figure” from Balochistan, Pakistan -- was conducted in Afghanistan’s Paktika Province, the site of many U.S.-led air strikes over recent years.

Paktia, located near the Pakistani border, is a volatile area where the Taliban has a strong presence.

Yasin had ties to the Tehrik-e Taliban militant organization and had plotted multiple terror attacks, the Pentagon said.

U.S. officials said Yasin led the September 20, 2008, bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens of people, including U.S. Air Force Major Rodolfo I. Rodriguez and Navy Petty Officer Matthew J. O’Bryant.

Yasin was also responsible for the 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, official said.

Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed in that attack.

"The death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice," Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said.

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