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US ups the ante against Daesh in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: The US State Department says it has designated three leaders of the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan as global terrorists, amid Washington’s crackdown on the terrorist group.

In a statement on Monday, the State Department said the three members of the Daesh group were classified under the Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) act.

The designation clears the way for Washington to block them and their associates from accessing money and assets that come into contact with the U.S. financial system.

The State Department said they remain committed to using full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by Daesh, “as part of our relentless efforts to ensure Afghanistan cannot again become a platform for international terrorism”.

Among those designated is Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir, identified as IS-K’s “current overall emir.”

Also designated is Sultan Aziz Azam, also known as Sultan Aziz, identified as holding the position of IS-K spokesman.

The third is Maulawi Rajab, also known as Maulawi Rajab Salahudin, said to be a senior leader of IS-K in Kabul Province. The statement said Rajab plans the group’s attacks and operations in Kabul. The U.S. Treasury sanctioned Ismatullah Khalozai for allegedly providing financial support to IS-K.

Daesh has stepped up attacks in Afghanistan since the takeover of that country by the Taliban following the withdrawal of Western troops in mid-August.

As a result of the latest actions, U.S. persons will generally be barred from engaging in any transactions with those designated. Their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

A week ago, Daesh claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a minivan in a western neighborhood of Kabul that killed a well-known Afghan television journalist.

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