Key Al Qaeda leader killed in US airstrike in Afghanistan

Washington, March 26: A senior Al Qaeda leader responsible for two major attacks in Pakistan was killed in a US counter-terrorism airstrike conducted last week in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The airstrike was carried out on March 19 in Paktika province, according to the Pentagon statement issued on Saturday.

Qari Yasin was behind the September 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that lefty 54 persons killed among them two US military personnel -- US Air Force Major Rodolfo I. Rodriguez and US Navy cryptologic technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J. O'Bryan.

Qari Yasin was also behind an attack in March 2009 that targeted the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, which resulted in the death of six Pakistani police personnel and two civilians.

"The death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice," the Pentagon statement quoted Defense Secretary James Mattis as saying.

Yasin, from Balochistan in Pakistan, had ties to the Pakistan-based terror organisation Tehrik-e Taliban.