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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility for attack on police academy

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 1, RNA - Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsood has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Police Training Center in Lahore, Police Intelligence Office in Islamabad and an army convoy in the city of Bannu.

Baitullah Mehsood told the BBC Urdu in a telephonic call that the attacks were a reaction to US drone strikes and that there would be more attacks in the coming days.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said on Monday that the attack on the police training center was planned by Baitullah and that the Pakistani Taliban chief is sending attackers from the South Waziristan tribal region.

At least 8 policemen, two civilians and three armed militants were killed in the 8-hour gun-battle. Around 90 others were injured.

Baitullah disowned the Afghan national Ezatullah was arrested outside the police training center and said that the police had arrested the man in some other place and had brought him there.

He denied involvement in a suicide attack in a mosque in Khyber agency tribal region on Friday and said that he condemns suicide attacks in mosques. “Our clerics do not support attacks inside mosques,” Baitullah said.

He avoided comments on the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Lahore earlier this month.

The Taliban chief said that there would be two or three attacks in the coming few days as a reaction to US drone attacks.

“We will keep on taking revenge if the US drone attacks are continued. And finally a major attack will prove arrow for the government,” Baitullah warned.

He did not disclose locations and dates of the attacks but said ‘it would be a test for the government's security agencies’.

When asked as to why he is attacking Pakistanis in reaction to US drone attacks, he said the Pakistani government has welcomed the Obama policy.

“President Zardari is pursuing American policies. He (Zardari) opposes US verbally but secretly supports these attacks,” Baitullah said.

To a question that he has also failed to stop US drone attacks despite killing alleged spies, the Taliban chief said, “This happens most of the time as Muslims are weak and they do not have resources. This is a test for Muslims and finally Muslims emerge victorious”.

Baitullah did not identify the attackers of the training school and said such information will create problems for his tribesmen.

When asked about the five million dollars reward announced by the US for provision of information about him, the Pakistani Taliban chief said that “I will deal with the US. It will take some time, but I will teach lesson to the US. With the Grace of Allah Almighty, we will take revenge inside the US. But so far it is the time to take revenge from Pakistan”.

He said he has not restricted his movement after the US announcement of reward on him but has ‘increased his activities’.

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