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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Saturday a U.S. strike in Afghanistan this week killed an al Qaeda militant who was responsible for the death of two American service members and accused of involvement in a deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka's cricket team in 2009.

The Pentagon said in a statement the strike took place on March 19 in Paktika province and killed Qari Yasin, "a well-known al (Qaeda) terrorist leader."

"The death of Qari Yasin is evidence that terrorists who defame Islam and deliberately target innocent people will not escape justice," U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in the statement.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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