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Qari Yasin TTP leader killed in drone attack

27 March, 2017

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WASHINGTON: A senior Al-Qaeda commander linked to major attacks in Pakistan including the bombing of a luxury hotel and an assault on a cricket team has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan, Washington.

Qari Yasin, a member of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group (Pakistani Taliban), was killed on March 19 in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province, the Pentagon said.

"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 a statement.

Yasin, who went by several aliases including Ustad Aslam, was accused of plotting the September 20, 2008 bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens of people, including two US servicemembers.

He was also said to have been behind a 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore that killed six Pakistani police officers and two civilians, and wounded six members of the team.

According to official Pakistani 'Most Wanted' lists he was also behind failed attempts to kill former president Pervez Musharraf in 2003 and former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in 2004. The Pentagon described him as being a native of Balochistan region, though Pakistani records said he hailed from Punjab province.

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