WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday that a March 2 strike against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen killed a former detainee from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We can confirm the death of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Yasir al Silmi," said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, adding al Silmi had been held at the detention center from 2002 to 2009.

In a statement, the Pentagon added that he was also known as Mohammed Tahar and was repatriated from Guantanamo Bay in 2009 to Yemen.

Davis added that the United States had carried out more than 40 strikes against AQAP militants over the past five nights and would continue to target it.

Since a January commando raid, the United States has shown a desire to both strike al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and to recover from what U.S. officials acknowledge has been an intelligence shortfall about the group since Yemen's civil war forced the closure of the U.S. embassy in 2015.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali, writing by Phil Stewart; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)