Al Qaeda leader Qari killed in US air strike
International Desk:United States military said on Sunday it had killed a Pakistani-born top al Qaeda operative behind the Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad in 2008 and the attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009, after which most cricket-playing nations came to halt touring Pakistan.
Depending on the expansion of his role in the 2009 attack, Qari Yasin, the operative, could be the man liable with is other accomplices, for Pakistan’s isolation in the world cricketing community. Most nations have not toured Pakistan since, playing it either at home or at third-party venues.
In a statement declaring Yasin’s death, the Pentagon described him as “responsible” for the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Three men suspected of involvement in the same attack were killed by Pakistani police in Lahore in August, 2016. And an alleged mastermind Qari Ajmal was killed in Afghanistan, in the same province as Yasin, Paktika.
Yasin was killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan’s restive Paktika province on March 19, the US department of defense said in a statement. “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, reflecting the importance the US was attaching to the operative’s killing.
The Pentagon called Yasin a senior terrorist figure from Balochistan, Pakistan with ties to Tehrik-e Taliban. Among the attacks he had “plotted” was the Marriott Hotel bombing in September 2008.
A truck packed with explosives had been blow up outside the hotel on the night of September 20 killing 54 people and injuring at least 266. The victims, majority of whom were Pakistanis, included 2 Americans — both military personnel.
The bombing was featured in a movie about the 2011 US SEALs operation that found and killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Zero Dark Thirty, which was said to be based on an account of the operation provided by the Obama administration.
The Pentagon statement gave no details of Yasin’s precise role in the bombing, but called him a plotter.