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US hits IS groups in Mozambique, Congo with terror sanctions

March 10, 2021 GMT
Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the administration foreign policy priorities on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Washington. (Ting Shen/Pool via AP)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the administration foreign policy priorities on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Washington. (Ting Shen/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday designated two Islamic State affiliates in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo as “foreign terrorist organizations,” imposing wide-ranging sanctions on the groups.

The sanctions announced by the State and Treasury departments freeze any assets the groups may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. Perhaps more significantly, foreign entities doing business with either will now be subject to U.S. sanctions as well.

State and Treasury also put personal sanctions on the leaders of the groups by naming them “specially designated global terrorists.” The two groups are blamed for multiple attacks in southern and central Africa that have left many hundreds of people dead since 2017.

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In the Congo, ISIS-DRC, which is also known as the Allied Democratic Forces is held responsible for attacks across the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, targeting primarily government security forces and civilians.

In Mozambique, the group known as Ansar al-Sunna is alleged to have killed more than 1,300 civilians in an insurgency in the north of the country that has taken the lives of more than 2,300 people total.