20th October, 2021
Afghanistan’s Taliban appeared to have given a monetary value to each of the suicide bombers they used during the war against the former government and its Western allies.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting interior ministry gave the value as $111, the equivalent of 10,000 Afghani.
Haqqani gave out the money to each of the families of the bombers at a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which was itself targeted by suicide bombers in 2018.
He also gave out clothing and made promises of land allocations to the families.
Haqqani had a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head as a “specially designated global terrorist” during the war.
He is still living in dread of the tag as official photographs of the meeting on Tuesday obscured his face.
“In his speech, the minister praised the Jihad and sacrifices of the martyrs and Mujahidin and called them heroes of Islam and the country,” the ministry’s spokesman Qari Sayeed Khosti said in a statement on Twitter.
Haqqani took over from his father Jalaluddin Haqqani as head of the Haqqani network, a militant group affiliated with the Taliban that was blamed by Western intelligence services for some of the bloodiest suicide attacks of the war.
He is wanted for questioning by the FBI in connection with an attack on another hotel in Kabul in 2008 in which six people including an American citizen were killed.
Following the Taliban’s victory over the Western-backed government which collapsed in August, Islamic State militants have carried out a series of suicide bombings against mosques and other targets, killing hundreds of civilians.