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US faces deadline on Haqqani network decision

FILE- In this Aug. 22, 1998, file photo, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant group the Haqqani network, speaks during an interview in Miram Shah, Pakistan. The Obama administration faces a weekend deadline to decide whether the Pakistan-based Haqq
FILE- In this Aug. 22, 1998, file photo, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant group the Haqqani network, speaks during an interview in Miram Shah, Pakistan. The Obama administration faces a weekend deadline to decide whether the Pakistan-based Haqqani network should be declared a terrorist organization, a complicated political decision as the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan and pushes for a reconciliation pact to end more than a decade of warfare.
Mohammed Riaz, File, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration faces a weekend deadline to decide whether the Pakistan-based Haqqani (hah-KAH'-nee) network should be declared a terrorist organization.

The al-Qaida-linked group is responsible for several high-profile attacks on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. It is blamed for a rocket-propelled grenade assault on the U.S. Embassy and NATO compound in Kabul in September.

But the decision is a complicated one as the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan and pushes for a reconciliation pact to end more than a decade of warfare.

Congress has ordered Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to deliver her verdict by Sunday.

Administration officials say they're divided on what course of action to take.

The Haqqanis are playing a leading role in Afghanistan's insurgency. They also have links to Pakistan's intelligence service.