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US Designates Gulbuddin Hekmatyar a 'Global Terrorist'

The United States has designated Afghan warlord and former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar a terrorist, subjecting him to economic sanctions including the seizure of any assets he may have in the United States.

The decision was announced by the State Department, which said the United States has information indicating that Mr. Hekmatyar has participated in and supported terrorist acts committed by al-Qaida and Afghanistan's former rulers, the Taleban.

The designation of Mr. Hekmatyar as a "global terrorist" under a 2001 directive by President Bush means that U.S. financial institutions must block any property he may have in the United States, and that it is illegal for anyone under U.S. jurisdiction to contribute money to him.

U.S. officials are also asking the United Nations to make a similar designation, which would obligate all U.N. member states to impose sanctions including asset freezes against the Afghan figure.

Mr. Hekmatyar, an ethnic Pashtun, led one of the major guerrilla factions in the 1980s war against the Soviet occupation and later in the Afghan civil conflict. He now is an opponent of the government of President Hamid Karzai, which took office after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taleban from power.