The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the overnight assault on Pakistan’s largest international airport, according to a report by the New York Times.
The attack resulted in 29 deaths, including the 10 militants and 11 members of Pakistan’s Airport Security Force, and a further 16 injured at Jinnah National Airport in Karachi. A spokesman for the Taliban said the assault was carried out in retaliation for the recent government attacks on the group.
“We will continue carrying out such attacks,” the spokesman told the Times by telephone. In the same statement, however, he claimed the group was still trying to carry on peace negotiations with the country.
Three of the attackers detonated suicide vests while others continued with gunfire.
“They were well trained,” Sindh Province Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said. “Their plan was very well thought out.”
Maj. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, the director of general of paramilitary force, said the attackers were of Uzbek origin. Earlier reports stated the group was attempting to hijack an airplane, but a spokesman for the Pakistani military, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, denied those rumors.