UN adds Haqqani network to Taliban sanctions list

Armed Taliban militant in Waziristan, Pakistan. Aug 2012 The Pakistani Taliban is said to be closely linked to the Haqqani network

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The UN Security Council's Taliban sanctions committee has added the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, accused of attacks in Afghanistan, to its blacklist.

The network's Abdul Rauf Zakir, who has planned many suicide attacks, was also added to the sanctions list.

A travel ban, arms embargo and asset freezing are part of the sanctions.

It comes after the US said it had decided to designate the group a terror network, subjecting it to sanctions.

The UN said it was responsible for many of the highest-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including killing eight people in a hotel Kabul in 2008, and the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in June 2011, which killed 11 Afghan civilians and two Afghan policemen.

The Haqqani network was also responsible for the September 2011 attack against the US Embassy and the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul. Sixteen Afghans were killed in the 19-hour attack, including at least six children, the UN said in its listing.

The Haqqani Network has also been involved in a number of kidnappings, and has co-operated with the Taliban and other militant organisations in Afghanistan, it added.

The Haqqanis hold numerous Western, Pakistani and Afghan hostages, among them US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, 25, who has been held prisoner for more than three years.

Abdul Rauf Zakir is in charge of all operations in Kabul, Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan provinces in Afghanistan, the UN said.

It said he was responsible for training recruits in basic small arms, heavy weapons, and basic improvised explosive device construction.

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