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U.S. to designate Pakistan-linked Haqqani network a terrorist group

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pauses during a news conference following the Action Group on Syria meeting in the Palace of Nations.

Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo

The United States decided Friday to designate the Pakistan-linked Haqqani network as a terrorist group, stepping up pressure despite concerns over the impact on ties with Islamabad.

In a report ordered by Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Haqqani network – known for bloody attacks in Afghanistan – was a terrorist group, an official said.

Ms. Clinton "signed a report to Congress this morning stating that the Haqqani Network meets the statutory criteria for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization," the official told reporters travelling with her on a tour that saw her leave Brunei on Friday to her next stop in Vladivostok, Russia.

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Congress had given Ms. Clinton a deadline of Sunday to determine if the group met the characteristics to fall under the category, which makes it a crime in the United States to provide the Haqqanis with any material support.

While technically Congress did not force Ms. Clinton to make an actual decision on designation, the official said that she would soon formally designate the Haqqani network as a terrorist group.

President Barack Obama's administration while pressuring the Haqqani network, had previously stopped short of declaring it to be a terrorist group due to concerns over relations with Pakistan.

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