Haqqani met families of the suicide bombers at an upscale hotel in Kabul. Afghan state media said that Haqqani called suicide bombers "heroes of Islam"

Sirajuddin Haqqani, a US-listed terrorist and a senior figure in Afghanistan's Taliban government praised suicide bombers at a meeting with families of the 'martyrs' in Kabul. Haqqani is interior minister in the Taliban government. He carries a bounty of USD 10 million for his arrest.

Pro-Taliban social media accounts and local media on Tuesday published images of the minister praying and embracing men in a glitzy ballroom at an upscale hotel in Kabul.

"Haqqani praised the jihad and sacrifice of the martyrs and mujahideen" calling them the "heroes of Islam and the country", Afghan state broadcaster RTA reported.

It said Sirajuddin "stressed that we must refrain from any betrayal of the aspirations of the martyrs", and promised $125 and a plot of land for each family.

In January 2018, the Intercontinental Hotel in which the meeting was held was stormed by Taliban gunmen, who opened fire on guests and staff and took dozens hostage.

Formed by Sirajuddin's father Jalaluddin, the Haqqani network is the most feared faction of the Taliban, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan during the last two decades.

Thanks to their financial and military strength -- and a reputation for ruthlessness -- the network is considered semi-autonomous while remaining within the Taliban fold.

Suicide bomb attacks, or martyrdom operations as the Taliban called them, were a tactic first employed by the group in the early years of their insurgency against the former US-backed government, with the military and NATO convoys often targets.