Syed Salahuddin
The US Department of State has designated 'Global Terrorist' Syed Salahuddeen-led (in picture) armed group Hizbul Mujahiddin as a global terrorist organisation REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

The US State Department on Wednesday (16 August) designated armed group Hizbul Mujahideen as a "foreign terrorist organisation" and a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" group. The group operates from Pakistan-ruled Kashmir.

The move came about a month after the group's leader Syed Salahuddeen admitted to carrying out terrorist attacks in the India-ruled Kashmir and other parts of the country.

The US administration had already declared Salahuddeen, who also goes by the name Mohammad Yusuf Shah, a specially designated global terrorist in June.

The state department statement described Hizbul Mujahideen, also known as HM, as "one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir". It was reportedly founded in 1989 and has been fighting against the Indian government, demanding separation of Kashmir from India.

The group had claimed responsibility for several attacks, including one in April 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir that injured 17 people.

The state department noted that the sanctions will "deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks". The move will also allow the US administration to seize all of HM's property and interests in property within the country. American individuals and firms will also be legally barred from engaging in any transactions with the militant group.

Burhan Wani, the separatist leader who was shot dead by Indian security forces on 8 July 2016, was also a leader of HM. However, his killing sparked protests from supporters of the separatist movement in Kashmir, who claimed he was a martyr. The unrest dragged on for over a month, forcing the local government to impose curfews.