Thursday, 25 April, 2019

United States slaps sanctions on six Taliban, Haqqani network leaders

United States slaps sanctions on six Taliban, Haqqani network leaders United States slaps sanctions on six Taliban, Haqqani network leaders
Patty Aguilar | 26 January, 2018, 16:01

The suspected USA drone attack on a house in northwestern Pakistan killed two militants from the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network, two Pakistani security officials said earlier.

The drone strike took place after a militant attack Saturday on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in which 22 people were killed, 14 of which were foreign nationals and there were even some USA citizens among those killed and wounded, the State Department reported on Tuesday.

Pakistan's claim that the U.S. hit an Afghan refugee camp in a drone strike is "false", a USA spokesman said on Thursday, as tensions between the uneasy allies ratchet higher over Islamabad's alleged support for militants.

According to political administration sources in the area, two people including a commander of the Haqqani Network were killed in the drone strike close to the Orakzai and Kurram Agency border.

It did not deny that a drone strike had taken place, however, and the comment from security officials suggested that it had hit its intended target.

But the United States embassy in Islamabad issued a rare denial, with a spokesman telling AFP: "The claim in (a foreign ministry) statement yesterday that U.S. forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false".

Clouds Friday, rain this weekend
The clouds rush in this evening with the chance of a light rain shower late tonight into Saturday morning. A few late day flurries, and perhaps some overnight snow showers are possible through the night.

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"Pakistan has continued to emphasize to the United States the importance of sharing actionable intelligence so that appropriate action is taken against terrorists by our forces within our territory", a statement from the Foreign Affairs said.

The US embassy in Islamabad said it had no further comment on the Pakistani military's claim.

A senior Trump administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on January 5 that Washington hoped that the aid suspension would be enough to communicate its concern to Islamabad.

"The claim in an MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) statement yesterday that US forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false", a USA embassy spokesman in Islamabad said in a statement. They said the men were from the Haqqani network of the Afghan Taliban.

Both statements said the incident highlighted how refugee communities could be infiltrated by militants and therefore refugees needed to be repatriated to Afghanistan.

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