The Pakistani Taliban took credit on Monday for an attack on Pakistan's busiest airport, according to The New York Times. On Sunday night, 10 gunmen — some of them dressed as police — entered the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan and led a five-hour assault in the VIP terminal, killing 19 people. The Taliban in part blames the U.S. for the attack, claiming it was revenge for last November's drone strike that killed Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.
This is the most ambitious attack of its kind since militants killed 10 people at the Mehran naval base in Pakistan in 2011. The Taliban warns that more attacks are coming, which likely ensures that peace talks with the Pakistani government are over. The chief minister of the Sindh Province in Pakistan, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, told the Times that Sunday's attackers "were well trained. Their plan was very well thought out." All 10 gunmen were eventually killed in the firefight, bringing the death toll to 29.
It's not clear if the Taliban planned to hijack a flight at the airport. A spokesman for the Pakistani military denies this, but passengers on grounded planes feared it would happen during the attack. Passenger Syed Saim A. Rivzi, who tweeted throughout the attack, said there was "full panic" on board his plane. He later noted that all passengers were moved to safety.
Huge blast !!!!!! I do not know whats going on out side -- heavy firing started again - full panic on board !
— Syed Saim A. Rizvi (@saim_riz) June 8, 2014
[Photo via AP]