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Taliban demands Washington remove its interior minister from US blacklist

Published: Updated:

The Taliban demanded the US remove its newly appointed interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani from its blacklist, group spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Thursday.

Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed Deputy Leader of the Taliban in 2015 and directed military operations, according to the Pentagon. He became one of the Taliban’s Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada’s two deputies in 2016.

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Haqqani has now been announced as the acting interior minster of the Taliban’s government after it seized control of Afghanistan last month.

According to the State Department, Haqqani admitted planning the January 2008 attack on Kabul’s Serena Hotel that killed a US citizen and five other people. He was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 in March 2008.

The US State Department has allocated a reward of $10 million for information on Haqqani.

The Haqqani Network, founded by Sirajuddin Haqqani’s father Jalaluddin Haqqani in the late 1970s, is responsible for many high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including the 19-hour attack on the US Embassy in Kabul and the nearby International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in September 2011. The State Department designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012.

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