January 13, 2015 / 6:38 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. brands as 'terrorist' Pakistani Taliban head behind massacre

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday declared Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah a “global terrorist,” making it a crime to engage in transactions with the man behind the Dec. 16 attack in which 134 children at a Peshawar school were killed.

A child supporter of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), hold sign with others to condemn the attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar, during a rally in Lahore December 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

The State Department said in a statement the formal designation also allows the U.S. government to seize any of his property or interests in the United States, including those under the control of U.S. citizens.

Fazlullah and the Taliban claimed responsibility for the school attack that resulted in the deaths of “at least 148 individuals, mostly students,” the department said.

Fazlullah also was behind the 2012 assassination attempt on Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, who last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Fazlullah was elected leader of the Taliban in 2013.

The Pakistani Taliban was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in 2010.

Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by David Storey and Richard Chang

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