US slaps sanctions against Haqqani `suicide operat
Washington: Intensifying pressure on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, the US Monday declared the outfit`s chief of suicide operations, Qari Zakir, a global terrorist and imposed financial sanctions against him.
Chief of suicide operations for the Haqqani Network and the operational commander in Kabul, Takhar, Kunduz, and Baghlan Provinces, Afghanistan, Zakir is responsible for the Haqqani Network`s training program, which includes instruction in small arms, heavy weapons, and basic improvised explosive device (IED) construction.
According to the State Department, Zakir approached Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani in 2008, requesting financial assistance in exchange for expanding the group?s influence and operations into northern Afghanistan, and has become a trusted associate and confidant of Sirajuddin.
He has been involved in many of the Haqqani Network`s high-profile suicide attacks and is partially responsible for making some of the final determinations on whether or not to proceed with large-scale attacks planned by local district-level commanders.
Attacks using personnel selected from Zakir`s training programme include the 2010 attacks on coalition force bases Salerno and Chapman; the June 2011 attack on the Intercontinental Hotel, which killed 11 civilians and two Afghan policemen; and the September 2011 attack on the US Embassy in Kabul, which killed 16 Afghans, including at least six children, the State Department said.
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