US sanctions Hizbul Mujahideen leader

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Senior leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin

Washington: The US State Department Monday imposed sanctions on Syed Salahuddin, the senior leader of the Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen.

The move means the United States now considers Salahuddin, also known as Mohammad Yusuf Shah, a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” the State Department said in a statement.

The designation slaps sanctions on “foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States,” the statement read.

The new sanctions mean American citizens are generally barred from doing business with Salahuddin, and all his assets subject to United States jurisdiction are blocked.

Hizbul Mujahideen for decades have been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

The designation was announced just before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was due at the White House for his first face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump.

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