The Pakistani Taliban has now claimed responsibility for one its boldest attacks on Pakistan’s largest city in years.
Just before midnight local time Sunday, ten militants stormed the country’s largest and busiest airport. Disguised as policemen and armed with machine guns and a rocket launcher, the gunmen opened fire in one of the airport terminals. (Via ITN)
Twenty-eight people died in the five-hour long raid. While suspicion immediately fell on the Pakistani Taliban, that wasn’t confirmed until Monday. (Via Geo News)
The commander of the group formally known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said in a statement the attack was payback for the U.S. drone strike in November that killed the group's former chief Hakimullah Mehsud. (Via BBC)
He also warned of more attacks. CNN quotes him saying: "As long as we are breathing, our attacks will be continuing 'til the end of our lives."
The airport attack comes as government-led peace talks with the Taliban and other armed groups have stalled in recent weeks. Experts say the airport assault could further undermine any prospects of a deal.
A senior advisor at the Asia Society told Time the airport attack is proof the Pakistani Taliban is more dangerous than ever.
“[The airport attack] shows their depth and networking in Karachi and even penetration in the Karachi airport. They entered from the gate which is used by top government and foreign dignitaries — supposedly the most secure.”
Also on Sunday, unidentified suicide bombers struck a bus, killing 28 Shia pilgrims. While that attack is thought to be unrelated to Karachi airport assault, analysts say it adds to the concerns about Pakistan’s security. (Via Such TV)