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Pakistan Taliban claim deadly airport attack

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 9, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.

KARACHI, Pakistan — The Pakistani Taliban on Monday threatened more attacks after claiming responsibility for a brazen five-hour assault on the country's busiest airport in which gunmen disguised as police guards stormed the international airport in Karachi, set off explosions and killed 18 people.

The claim further diminished prospects for a resumption of peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban that officials had hoped could bring an end to the group's bloody, years-long campaign seeking to overthrow the country's U.S.-allied government. The insurgency has shaken the stability of the nuclear-armed country, which borders Afghanistan, where international forces have been fighting the Afghan Taliban for more than a decade.

Peace talks floundered in recent weeks, and the Taliban called off a cease-fire they had declared during the negotiations. Since then, Pakistani troops have hit the group's hideouts with airstrikes in the country's troubled northwestern region, killing dozens of suspected militants. Residents claim several civilians were also killed in the strikes.

The Taliban said the assault on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and the country's economic heart, was in revenge for the killing last November of the militant group's leader in a U.S. drone strike

In a telephone call to The Associated Press, the group's spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, warned that "such attacks will continue until there is a permanent ceasefire."

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