Drone kills three 'Haqqani militants' in Afghanistan

Feb 12, 2018, 00:54
Drone kills three 'Haqqani militants' in Afghanistan

The strike took place in the mountainous Barmal district of Paktia province, where fighters from both the Haqqani network and Pakistan's Tehrik-e-Taliban militant group are believed to operate.

A statement said the three men were involved in providing financial and logistical support, explosives, and technological aid to the three extremist groups.

"The US Treasury continues to aggressively pursue and expose radicals who support terrorist organisations and run illicit financial networks across South Asia", said Sigal Mandelker, US Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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Afghan and USA officials have long alleged insurgents use sanctuaries in Pakistan for planning deadly attacks on the other side of the border, charges Islamabad denies.

A US Treasury Department release said its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three individuals - Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan - as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) for providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

The other two are accused of acting on behalf of Shaikh Aminullah, who was sanctioned in 2009 for providing material support to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

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Drone strikes in the region have surged in the wake of US President Donald Trump's announcement of a new Afghan policy in which Pakistan was accused of harbouring terrorists and offering "safe havens to the agents of chaos". USA officials said the freeze could affect $2 billion worth of assistance.

The officials said there were unconfirmed reports about the killing of a senior Pakistani Taliban commander, Khalid Mehsud, who is also known as commander Sajna, in a separate strike in neighboring Afghanistan.

He said the action was a part of the U.S. administration's broader "efforts to disrupt terrorist fundraising".

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