Afghanistan: US Airstrike Kills High-Profile Al Qaeda Leader

A US counterterrorism airstrike conducted March 19 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, resulted in the death of Qari Yasin, a well-known al-Qaeda leader, the Defense Department confirmed in a news release yesterday.

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

Yasin, a senior terrorist figure from Balochistan, Pakistan, had plotted multiple al-Qaeda attacks, including the Sept. 20, 2008, bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens of innocent people — among them US Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew J. O’Bryant.

Yasin, who had ties to Tehrik-e Taliban, was also responsible for the 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, the release said. In that attack, six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed, and six members of the team were injured.


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