Haqqani "suicide operations" chief Qari Zakir slapped with sanctions, labeled global terrorist

Smoke and flames light up the night from a blaze at the Intercontinental Hotel after Taliban fighters attacked it in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 29, 2011. AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON The Obama administration has declared the Haqqani network's "chief of suicide operations" a global terrorist and imposed U.S. financial sanctions against him.

The State Department says Qari Zakir, also known as Abdul Rauf, is responsible for the Pakistan-based militant group's planning of suicide attacks and training fighters in the use of small arms, heavy weapons and explosive devices. It says Zakir is the network's commander in several Afghanistan provinces.

The government blames militants trained through Zakir's program for a September 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed 16 Afghans, a June 2011 attack that killed 11 civilians and two Afghan police officers at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, and attacks on two NATO bases in 2010.

Washington named the Haqqanis a terrorist organization in September. It blames the group for many deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

Monday's action blocks any assets held by Zakir in the United States and bans Americans from doing business with him.

The U.S. statement also credited the United Nations for including the Haqqanis and Zakir on its global sanctions list Monday.

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