World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States' decision to designate the Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation shows it is not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan, senior commanders of the group said on Friday.
The move will also bring hardship for U.S. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is being held by the militants, the commanders told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The United States is designating the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, accused of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, as a terrorist organisation, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday, in a move that would trigger sanctions against the group and turn up the heat on Pakistan's government.
US officials have long accused Pakistan of supporting the network, an allegation Islamabad denies.
Senior commanders from the network said the decision could endanger efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to the Afghan conflict before most NATO combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.
"It means the United States is not sincere in their talks. They are on the one hand claiming to look for a political solution to the Afghan issue while on the other they are declaring us terrorists," said one of the commanders.
"So how can peace talks succeed in bringing peace to Afghanistan?"
The New York Times earlier reported that senior U.S. officials who argued against blacklisting the group were concerned it could jeopardise the fate of Bergdahl, who disappeared from his base in southern Afghanistan in June 2009 and is believed to be being held by the militants.
"Until now we treated him very well but this move by the United States will of course created hardships for him," another Haqqani commander told Reuters.
China has not started legal proceedings against former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, the highest-profile figure to be caught in a government crackdown on corruption
The United States imposed sanctions on a prominent lawmaker and businessman in Myanmar for undermining economic and political reforms in the country
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Germany was ready to help train Iraqi Kurdish as well as Sunni forces in Iraq to fight ISIL insurgents
The sixth country in West Africa, including Mali, hit by the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according to the WHO
The proposed 'integration' treaty between Russia and the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia violates international law, say co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
A man who killed three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers was sentenced on Friday to five life sentences in prison, with no possibility of parole for 75 years
There has been no claim of responsibility and it remains unclear whether criminal or political motives were behind the attack.
Nearly all analysts have cast serious doubts on the alleged cease-fire between the government and Boko Haram, and raised posers for the government to answer
A co-founder of the Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay was sentenced on Friday to three and a half years in prison
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said "the team recovered human remains from the so-called burn site" where the plane hit the ground, but provided no additional details.
China and Russia have thwarted an international attempt to create the world's largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctica
Even with five warships on permanent patrol in the waters between Sicily and North Africa -- backed up by helicopter, plane and drone surveillance -- about 3,300 migrants have died attempting the crossing this year
New Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations, flew home this month to take up the post as part of the agreement aimed at stabilizing the country
Pavel Petrinko was seized along with at least one Afghan citizen and eight Turkish engineers working for a construction company after the helicopter made an emergency landing
Canada, which has not reported any cases of Ebola, is following in the footsteps of Australia, which on Tuesday became the first rich nation to issue such a ban