Pakistani airport employees leave the Jinnah International Airport after militants attack in Karachi, southern Pakistan, on June 9, 2014. The Pakistan Taliban on Monday morning claimed responsibility for the attack at the Jinnah International Airport on late Sunday night that killed 19 people and injured 23 others, local media reported. (Xinhua/Arshad)
ISLAMABAD, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The Pakistan Taliban on Monday morning claimed responsibility for the attack at the Jinnah International Airport in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on late Sunday night that killed 19 people and injured 23 others, local media reported.
Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told media that they conducted the attack at the Karachi airport in a revenge of the killing of their former leader Hakeemullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike in November last year.
"This is also a reaction against the unannounced operation by the Pakistan army. We shall continue such attacks in future," said Shahid.
According to hospital officials, at least 19 bodies and 23 injured were shifted to the hospital that include nine personnel of the Airport Security Force (ASF), three from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and one each from Pakistan Rangers, police and the Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
The incident took place at about 11:20 p.m. (local time) on Sunday night when at least 10 heavily armed militants sneaked into the airport terminal used for cargo and special VIP operations, lobbed hand grenades and opened fire at the security personnel.
According to the officials, the militants reached the airport in a vehicle before splitting into two groups. The assailants, wearing the attire of ASF, attacked the airport from two sides and managed to sneak into the main area of the terminal by lobbing hand grenades at the security personnel and opening fire at them.
The drop-scene of the attack happened early Monday morning when all 10 attackers were killed during a joint operation by the Pakistan Army, Rangers, ASF and police.
Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, director general of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of the Pakistan army, said Monday morning that all the 10 militants were killed one after another in the retaliatory attack by security forces.
On Monday morning, Pakistan security forces continued their search operation after all the terrorists were killed by the forces.
Bajwa said that the troops had cleared the area in five hours after the attack and now they would hand over the airport to the CAA in the afternoon after the precautionary sweep.
The security officials also denied the damage of any plane in the attack.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has formed an eight-member committee that will start an inquiry into the incident and will submit its report.
Photos>>At least 23 killed in Pakistan's Karachi airport attack
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