Top Taliban minister praises ‘sacrifices’ of suicide bombers, offers $125 and plot of land for their family

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The Taliban minister Haqqani paid his tributes to the suicide bombers and called them “martyrdom seekers” and “holy warriors”  (Twitter/ moiafghanistan)
The Taliban minister Haqqani paid his tributes to the suicide bombers and called them “martyrdom seekers” and “holy warriors” (Twitter/ moiafghanistan)

Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani on Monday praised the Afghan suicide bombers killed during the war against the former US-backed government and offered cash and land to their families, reports said.

Mr Haqqani, who serves as “interior minister” in the militant group’s regime in Afghanistan, himself carries a $10mn US bounty on his head for being a "specially designated global terrorist."

He was seen distributing £80.6 ($125) to the kin of deceased bombers. He also promised them a plot of land at a meeting in Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel.

"In his speech, the minister praised the Jihad and sacrifices of the martyrs and Mujahidin and called them heroes of Islam and the country," a statement by interior ministry’s spokesperson on Twitter read.

“Now you & I must refrain from betraying the aspirations of our martyrs,” interior ministry’s spokesperson Saeed Khosty said, quoting Mr Haqqani.

His face, however, is blurred in the official photos of the event attended by hundreds of men.

Mr Haqqani was seen hugging relatives of the suicide bombers and praying, as he called the dead men “martyrdom seekers” and “holy warriors.”

The head of Haqqani Network — a militant outfit with strong ties with Pakistan’s military — Mr Haqqani is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for an attack on a hotel in Kabul in 2008 which killed 58 people, including an American citizen, and injured at least 150.

The Haqqani Network, previously headed by the interior minister’s father Jalaluddin Haqqani, is known for some of the bloodiest terror attacks which have claimed thousands of Afghan lives. Mr Haqqani allegedly had a role in planning an assassination attempt on former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in 2008.

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