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US offers USD 30 mln reward for info on top Haqqani commanders


Washington, Aug 21: The US has offered a bounty of USD 30 million for information leading to the location of top five leaders of the Pakistan-based dreaded Haqqani network, which is blamed for several attacks in Afghanistan, including on the Indian missions in the war-torn country.

Under it's Rewards for Justice programme, the State Department authorised rewards of up to USD 5 million each for information leading to the location of the Haqqani network top commanders Aziz Haqqani, Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani, and Abdul Rauf Zakir.

It also has increased its previous reward offer of up to USD 5 million for information on the group's leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, to up to USD 10 million, the State Department said in a statement. Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group, was designated a terrorist network by the US and UN in 2012.

Sirajuddin is the son of the Haqqani network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani. He has admitted planning the January 2008 attack on Kabul's Serena Hotel in which a US citizen and five other people were killed. The government had designated him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2008, it said.

Aziz Haqqani is Sirajuddin's brother and is involved in logistical operations and command decisions involving cross-border attacks on US-led forces and Afghan forces. Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, Sirajuddin's uncle, is a senior member of the terrorist group and has raised funds for the Taliban. He has been linked to al-Qaida terrorist operations. He also has overseen the detention of hostages captured by Haqqani and Taliban militants.

The US government designated him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2011. Yahya Haqqani, Sirajuddin's brother-in-law, has been closely involved in the group's operational, financial, and propaganda activities, and has served as de-facto leader when other senior-most HQN leaders were absent. He has delivered funds to group's commanders and al-Qaida members, and has also served as Haqqani's primary liaison with foreign terrorists fighting in the region.

He was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist this year, it said. Abdul Rauf Zakir is the group's chief of suicide operations. He also oversees HQN's weapons training program.

"Based in Pakistan, Haqqani network conducts cross-border attacks in Afghanistan and is considered the most lethal insurgent group targeting International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan personnel," the statement said.

It is responsible for many high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including the 19-hour attack on the US Embassy in Kabul and the nearby ISAF headquarters in September 2011. The Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead. The attack was blamed on Haqqani Network.


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