November 6, 2012 in Nation/World

U.N. sets Haqqani sanctions

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. committee that oversees sanctions against the Taliban imposed global sanctions Monday on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, a fierce militant group considered a major threat to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, and its “chief of suicide operations.”

The Taliban sanctions committee ordered all 193 U.N. member states to freeze the assets and institute an arms embargo against the Haqqani network, saying the group is linked to al-Qaida and other militant organizations and is responsible for suicide attacks and targeted assassination as well as kidnappings in Kabul and Afghan provinces.

The committee also ordered an asset freeze, arms embargo and travel ban against Afghan-born Abdul Rauf Zakir, also known as Qari Zakir, who it said oversees training of suicide attackers and provides instructions on how to construct improvised explosive devices.

The United States earlier Monday also imposed financial sanctions against Zakir and labeled him a global terrorist.

The decision to impose sanctions required approval by all 15 Security Council members, including Pakistan, and diplomats said its agreement was considered significant since the Haqqani network is based in Pakistan’s tribal region of North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice welcomed the Taliban sanctions committee’s announcement.

She said the U.N. action expands sanctions by the United States, which in September named the Haqqanis a terrorist organization, “and confirms the international community’s resolve to end the Haqqani network’s ability to execute violent attacks in Afghanistan.”

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