Uzbek Taliban claim Karachi attack

12 June 2014 BBC Online


Uzbek militants fighting with the Pakistani Taliban say they carried out Sunday's deadly assault on Karachi's international airport.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan posted photos of 10 men in black turbans holding AK-47s who had sought revenge for military air strikes.
At least 39 people were killed in the airport raid, including all 10 gunmen.
DNA tests are being conducted on the gunmen, who officials in Karachi said appeared to be of Uzbek origin.
The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani in Islamabad says the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is a highly trained militant group, with bases in the North Waziristan tribal region.
It works closely with al-Qaeda and Taliban militants and has previously carried out large-scale co-ordinated attacks in Pakistan, including one on Peshawar airport in 2012.
In its statement the group said the Karachi raid was to avenge military air strikes in Pakistani tribal areas last month which it alleged had killed women and children.
Sunday's assault was followed by a second gun attack near the airport on Tuesday, raising tensions in Karachi further. Gunmen shot at a security camp outside the airport perimeter but there were no casualties.
The violence follows a major split in the Pakistani Taliban
(TTP) and faltering peace talks with the government.
Pakistan's leaders met to discuss security and official sources spoke of a resolve to crush terrorism with an iron hand, the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Karachi reports.
Further pre-emptive military strikes in an attempt to forestall more Taliban attacks could be on the cards, our correspondent adds.
The Pakistani military have been targeting militants in the tribal north-west but it is still not clear whether a broader military offensive in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan could be given the political go-ahead.
Local media said the meeting authorised the army to carry out "appropriate action" against terrorist groups.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged peace talks with the TTP during his election campaign.
Talks began in March, but little progress has been made and violence has continued.
'Brazen attack'
Taliban gunmen attacked an area of Karachi's Jinnah international airport late on Sunday, opening fire and hurling grenades.
Security forces gained control following an overnight battle, and the airport reopened late on Monday.
On Tuesday, gunmen on motorbikes shot at a security training camp just outside the airport before fleeing.
The Taliban have declared in statements that the wave of attacks will continue.
Correspondents say residents in Karachi have been shocked by the brazenness of Sunday's airport attack.
Pakistan has been fighting an Islamist insurgency for more than a decade, with the Pakistani Taliban the main militant grouping.
Early on Tuesday the Pakistani military carried out air strikes in tribal areas in the north-west Khyber region, killing at least 15 militants, officials say.

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