US drone strike kills "an Al Qaeda leader" in Afghanistan

The Pentagon says Qari Yasin was a senior figure from Balochistan who had ties to the Tehrik-e-Taliban group and had plotted multiple attacks.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

An Afghan man inspects a house destroyed during an air strike called in to protect Afghan and US forces during a raid on suspected Taliban militants, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, November 4, 2016.

Updated Mar 27, 2017

The Pentagon on Saturday said a US drone strike in Afghanistan killed an Al Qaeda leader who was responsible for the death of two American service members.

He was also accused of being involved in a deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka's cricket team during a tour of Pakistan in 2009.

The Pentagon said in a statement the strike took place on March 19 in Paktika province and killed Qari Yasin, an Al Qaeda leader who had ties to the Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the Pakistani Taliban.

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

TRT World's Bilal Sarwary reports from Kabul, Afghanistan.

The pentagon statement also said that Yasin was responsible for a 2008 bombing on a hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, which killed dozens of people including two American service members.

On Sunday, Pakistani security sources and militants said that a US drone air strike in Afghanistan had killed Yasin, also known as Ustad Aslam.

Pakistan's Counter-Terrorism Department had offered a bounty of $19,000 for Yasin, saying he was involved in the 2009 bus attack in the northeastern city of Lahore, allegedly organised by militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus led to Pakistan's exclusion from the role of hosting major international tours.

At least 10 gunmen fired on the bus with rifles, grenades and rockets, wounding six players and a British coach, and killing eight Pakistanis.

Since then, Pakistan has been forced to play most of its "home" games in the United Arab Emirates.

TRTWorld and agencies