Haqqani, US wanted Taliban leader, praises suicide bomber

The acting Taliban interior minister, who is on the US list of terrorists, has held a ceremony in Kabul to honor the suicide bombers responsible for killing thousands of US and allied troops in Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is a US fugitive in exchange for $10 million for any information leading to his arrest, met members of the suicide bomber Monday at a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, a spokesman said. Ministry of Home Affairs, Qari Saeed Khosty.

Khosty posted a blurry photo showing Haqqani praying and embracing family members of the slain suicide bomber. He added that during the meeting the ministerial official later praised the perpetrators and called them “heroes of Islam and the state.” Haqqani has not been seen in public in recent years, including since the Taliban returned to power.

The Taliban managed to regain control of the country in August after waging an insurgency against the Western-backed Afghan government and US-led coalition forces for nearly 20 years.

The international community has so far ignored the Islamist group’s call for recognition of its government in Kabul, citing human rights violations and other issues involving the group. [jm/rd]

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