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Pentagon: 'High Profile' al Qaeda Figure Killed in Afghanistan Strike

The Defense Department said Qari Yasin plotted the bombing of a Islamabad hotel that killed two American service members and dozens of others.

A U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan this week killed a "high profile" al Qaeda terrorist leader who plotted a bombing at a hotel in Pakistan that killed two American service members and dozens of other people, the Pentagon said Saturday.

The Defense Department said Qari Yasin is confirmed dead in the airstrike that was carried out on March 19.

The Pentagon said Yasin was a "senior terrorist figure" from Pakistan who had ties to the Taliban and who plotted multiple al Qaida terror attacks, including the Sept. 20, 2008 bombing of a hotel in Islamabad that killed the American service members and over 50 other people.

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The Pentagon said Yasin also was behind an ambush on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Lahore in 2009. None of the cricket players were killed when gunmen fired on their bus, but six police guards were killed and seven players were wounded, The Associated Press reported at the time.

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

U.S. Air Force Maj. Rodolfo I. Rodriguez and Navy Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J. O’Bryant were killed in the 2008 hotel bombing, the Defense Department said.