MQ-9 Reaper
The al-Qaeda leader was killed on 19 March in Afghanistan's Paktika provinceGetty Images

The Pentagon has said that senior al-Qaeda military commander Qari Yasin was killed in a US drone strike on 19 March in eastern Afghanistan.

Yasin, who is a native of Pakistan's Balochistan region, had ties to the Tehreek-e-Taliban group and was allegedly involved in a number of al-Qaeda terror attacks.

He was accused of being behind the attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 in Lahore, which killed six Pakistani police officers, two civilians, and injured six members of the team.

Yasin was also accused of planning the 2008 bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, which killed dozens of people including US Air Force Major Rodolfo I Rodriguez and Navy Cryptologic Technician Third Class Petty Officer Matthew J O'Bryan, according to ABC News.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis 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 Pentagon said on 25 March that the air strike took place in Paktika province and killed Yasin "a well-known al (Qaeda) terrorist leader".

Pakistan's Counter Terrorism Department had offered $19,000 (£15,000) for the jihadist and said that he was involved in the bus attack in Lahore. The bus attack resulted in Pakistan being excluded from hosting major international tours.

Afghanistan has for long accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to the Taliban.