US designates 4 more al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban leaders as global terrorists - ednews.net

4 February, Saturday

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US designates 4 more al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban leaders as global terrorists

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The US has designated four senior members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network in South Asia and Afghanistan, as well as the Pakistani Taliban, as global terrorists, Ednews reports citing Anadolu Agency.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, according to a statement posted on the US Department of State's official website on Thursday.

The list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) now includes Osama Mehmood, the "so-called" emir or head of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), his deputy Atif Yahya Ghouri, and Muhammad Maruf, who is in charge of recruiting new terrorists.

Qari Amjad, the "so-called" deputy emir of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a conglomerate of various militant groups, is also on the SDGTs list.

Amjad oversees operations and militants in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, according to the statement.

“As a result of these actions, all property and interests in property of those designated yesterday that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and all U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” it added.

"Yesterday’s actions again demonstrate that we will continue to use all relevant tools to uphold our commitment to see to it that international terrorists are not able to operate with impunity in Afghanistan," Blinken said.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanullah said TTP’s decision to break a cease-fire with the government and resume attacks in the country should be a matter of concern for the Afghan Taliban.

"TTP is enjoying all sorts of facilities in Afghanistan," Sanaullah said in a news conference in the capital Islamabad.

Sanaullah reminded that the Afghan Taliban had promised the world that Afghan soil would not be used for terrorism, and said Pakistan has been extending every possible assistance for peace in Afghanistan.

He also condemned a suicide attack on a police vehicle guarding anti-polio vaccinators in a Quetta suburb, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province on Wednesday, which killed four people and injured over two dozen people, mostly policemen.

On Tuesday, Pakistan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul and met with acting Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi and acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Khar's visit came just a day after the TTP announced the end of a so-called cease-fire with security forces and threatened fresh attacks.​​​​​​​



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