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Taliban ‘Interior Minister’ lauds suicide bombers

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Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani hugs a relative of a suicide bomber at a ceremony in Kabul.

AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban’s “Interior Minister”, Sirajuddin Haqqani, a UN-designated terrorist for whom the US has offered a $10-million bounty, has praised suicide bombers and pledged support for the families of fighters killed in suicide attacks.

Haqqani, a top leader of the Haqqani Network distributed 10,000 Afghanis (about $110) and clothes to the families of suicide attackers and promised them a plot of land during a meeting held at Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul on Monday.

Photos posted on Twitter by pro-Taliban accounts showed the event was attended by hundreds of men. Haqqani was featured in several of the photos, though his face was blurred or he was photographed from the rear.

The Haqqani Network was blamed by Indian and US officials for the July 2008 suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that killed 58 people and injured nearly 150. Among the dead were the Indian defence attaché, Brig Ravi Datt Mehta, diplomat V Venkateswara Rao and two Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel.

Saeed Khosty, the interior ministry spokesman, said on Twitter that Haqqani had “met the family members of martyred Fidayeen” at the hotel.

“In his speech, the Interior Minister praised the jihad & sacrifices of Mujahideen & martyrs. He called them heroes of Islam & the country. [Haqqani] told everyone about the memories of the martyred (Fidayeen) their piety & deeds. He called them heroes of the believing nation,” Khosty tweeted.

“Now you & I must refrain from betraying the aspirations of our martyrs,” Haqqani was quoted as saying by Khosty.

Khosty also confirmed Haqqani had distributed 10,000 Afghanis and clothes to the families of the suicide bombers and “promised a plot for each (martyr’s) family”.

Several photos showed Haqqani embracing relatives of the suicide bombers and praying at the meeting. The interior ministry also said in a statement that Haqqani paid tribute to the suicide bombers by describing them as “martyrdom seekers” and “holy warriors”.

Ironically, the hotel in which the meeting was held had been targeted in January 2018 by Taliban fighters who killed 40 people, including 14 foreigners. The Taliban has carried out scores of suicide attacks across Afghanistan in recent years that killed thousands of Afghans and foreign troops.


Thursday, October 21, 2021 – 01:00

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