US imposes sanctions on 2 Taliban and Haqqani network leaders

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Washington, May 18: The US has slapped sanctions on two individuals linked with the Taliban and Haqqani network based along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, barring American citizens from any dealings with them.

Bakht Gul, a Haqqani Network communications official, has been designated for acting for or on behalf of Badruddin Haqqani. Abdul Baqi Bari, a Taliban financier, is being designated for providing financial support for or financial services to, the Taliban, Adam Szubin, Director of Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said yesterday.

"By designating these individuals today, Treasury is taking another step to ensure all those who perpetuate ongoing violence and terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue to be marginalised and cut off from the international financial system, and they will find it increasingly difficult to carry out their objectives," Szubin said.

As a result of today's action, all property in the US or in the possession or control of US persons in which Bakht Gul or Abdul Baqi Bari has an interest is blocked, and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The Treasury said Bakht Gul has been a key Haqqani Network communications official since at least 2009. Gul works directly for senior Haqqani Network leader Badruddin Haqqani and has served as a gatekeeper for Badruddin.

"Gul's responsibilities include relaying reports from commanders in Afghanistan to senior Haqqani Network officials, Taliban media officials, and legitimate media outlets in Afghanistan," he said.

Gul also works with Haqqani Network officials, including Badruddin Haqqani, to coordinate the movement of Haqqani insurgents, foreign fighters and weapons.

PTI

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