US airstrike kills al Qaeda terror mastermind


Qari Yasin, a senior militant figure from Balochistan, Pakistan, died during US airstrikes in Afghanistan.

He had ties with the Pakistani Taliban terror group and masterminded the bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens, including two American service members in 2008.

A 2009 bus attack in Lahore, Pakistan, killed six Pakistani policemen and two civilians and wounded six members of the Sri Lankan cricket team.

US defence secretary Jim Mattis confirmed Yasin died in Paktika Province on 19 March and 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.”

The death of Yasin in eastern Afghanistan will fuel Pakistan’s claims its militant enemies have established sanctuaries there.

The neighbouring countries have accused each other of harbouring the other’s foes.

Relations deteriorated earlier this year after a series of attacks in Pakistan killed 125 people led Islamabad to close its border with Afghanistan for more than a month.

The two countries have exchanged lists of insurgents hiding out on the other’s soil.

Afghanistan has given Pakistan the locations of 23 bases where its Taliban militants are hiding, which it is demanding are closed.


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