A March 19 U.S. air strike in Afghanistan’s Paktika province killed Taliban leader Qari Yasin, the Pentagon announced March 26. Yasin was considered to be the mastermind of several major terrorist attacks – including a 2008 bombing of a Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, which killed two U.S. service members and more than a dozen other innocent persons. In 2009, the Tehrik-e Taliban group carried out an attack on a Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, killing two and injuring six. Yasin had close ties to the Taliban attackers. “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 a statement.