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Taliban acting interior minister and US-designated terrorist praises suicide bombers and rewards families

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The Taliban’s acting interior minister, designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist, praised suicide bombers and rewarded their families at a recent event.

Sirajuddin Haqqani hosted a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday evening, praising “the jihad & sacrifices of Mujahideen & martyrs,” whom he called “heroes of Islam & the country,” according to Interior Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khosty.

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"Now you & I must refrain from betraying the aspirations of our martyrs," Haqqani said, according to Khosty, who added that the Taliban leader distributed 10,000 afghanis (roughly $112) per family and promised a plot of land to each.

Khosty also tweeted photos of a packed auditorium with a blurred-out Haqqani, whom the State Department’s Reward for Justice program is offering $10 million for his arrest, embracing the families.

The event comes as the interim Taliban government attempts to find its footing in Afghanistan after overthrowing the U.S.-backed Afghan government in August ahead of the U.S. military's withdrawal. Several members of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network have received top positions in the Taliban’s “caretaker” government.

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Since then, the U.S. and other Western countries have attempted to pressure Taliban leaders to meet specific conditions to achieve international recognition.

The Taliban government is faced with battling ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan. ISIS-K has taken responsibility for multiple bombings in recent weeks since the U.S. withdrawal.

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Tags: News, Defense, National Security, War in Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Taliban, ISIS

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Taliban acting interior minister and US-designated terrorist praises suicide bombers and rewards families

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