Taliban militants said Monday they carried out Sunday’s dramatic assault on Pakistan’s busiest airport that left at least 24 people dead, including the 10 heavily-armed attackers.

A gunbattle raged for more than five hours after 10 militants disguised as police attacked with machine guns hand grenades and rocket launchers. The army secured control in the early hours of Monday morning, although further gunfire and a explosion were heard later Monday morning, reported Dawn.com, a popular English language news website.

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility and said the attack was revenge for army air strikes along the Afghan border where its insurgents are based.

“We carried out this attack on the Karachi airport and it is a message to the Pakistani government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages,” said Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, Dawn reported Monday.

“They were well trained. Their plan was very well thought out,” said Chief Minister of Sindh province, Qaim Ali Shah.

The assailants killed 14 people, including airport security police, and airline staff, as they battled soldiers and rangers at the old terminal of Jinnah International Airport, used mostly for cargo and VIP services.

Army spokesman Asim Bajwa said on Twitter that the militants “were confined to two areas and eliminated.” He said weapons and live ammunition including rocket-propelled grenades were recovered from the militants, who were wearing large packs on their bodies. Some of the attackers detonated suicide vests, said The News, a local paper… see more

source: usatoday