WASHINGTON  - In a first-ever major action on Taliban explosive manufacturers’ network, the US on Saturday slapped sanctions on Taliban senior leader Abdul Samad Achekzai, known to be an expert in manufacturing of the Improvised Explosive Devices.

“As a key official in the Taliban’s IED supply network, Abdul Samad Achekzai is responsible for untold death and suffering,” Foreign Assets Control Director Treasury’s Office Adam Szubin said.

“IEDs are the leading cause of casualties among coalition troops and civilians in Afghanistan and we must do everything in our power to expose and disrupt the purveyors of these deadly devices,” the official said. With these sanctions, Achekzai’s entire property in the US or in possession or control of US nationals having his interest would be blocked, he said.

Achekzai was part of various attacks carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan and in 2011, he worked on a plot to assassinate an Afghan Border Police commander, the Treasury department said, adding that he had also recruited a suicide bomber for the purpose.

Till mid-2010, he was in-charge of work like storage and procurement of IED component, detonator construction and conducting IED training in support of Taliban fighters in western and southern Afghanistan, the department said.