IMU Claims Attack on Karachi Airport

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 between the militants and the government.

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