MIRANSHAH - Taliban on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack on Karachi airport in revenge for their late leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in November.
"We carried out the attack on Karachi airport to avenge the death of Hakimullah Mehsud," Taliban’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP, while dismissing the Pakistani government's recent offer of peace talks as a "tool of war".
He also promised more attacks in the future. "Pakistan used peace talks as a tool of war, it killed hundreds of innocent tribal women and children. This is our first attack to avenge the death of Hakimullah Mehsud," he said. "We have yet to take revenge for the deaths of hundreds of innocent tribal women and children in Pakistani air strikes.
"It's just the beginning, we have taken revenge for one, we have to take revenge for hundreds," he told AFP. The initial assault at Jinnah International Airport in Pakistan's southern port city began late Sunday and raged until dawn, when the military said that at least 24 people -- including all 10 attackers -- had been killed.
Equipped with suicide vests, grenades and rocket launchers, they had battled security forces in one of the most brazen attacks in years in Pakistan's biggest city. Among the 14 victims were four airport workers. Security forces later announced that the military operation had been relaunched after gunfire at the airport resumed.
Umar Media, the official media wing of the Taliban, claimed on their Facebook page that just six militants had attacked the airport. "The biggest reason for attacking Karachi airport is because it serves as the biggest air logistics centre supplying goods for the Crusaders' war in Afghanistan and Pakistan," a statement on their Facebook page claimed.