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Pak Taliban chief threatens to launch attack on US

Claiming responsibility for the terror attack on a police academy in Lahore, Pakistan’s most wanted man Baitullah Mehsud today threatened to launch an “amazing” strike on Washington in retaliation for a series of attacks by US drones in tribal areas.

world Updated: Apr 01, 2009 01:24 IST

Claiming responsibility for the terror attack on a police academy in Lahore, Pakistan’s most wanted man Baitullah Mehsud on Tuesday threatened to launch an “amazing” strike on Washington in retaliation for a series of attacks by US drones in tribal areas.

Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban chief and on whom the US has announced a bounty of $5 million, also warned of further strikes in the country unless Islamabad withdraws troops from tribal areas and press America to cease drone attacks in the troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

The Taliban chief, who is wanted in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto, told foreign news agencies “soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world.”

Mehsud, who operates from the lawless tribal region in Waziristan, said yesterday’s attack that killed nine people was in retaliation for US drone attacks in the unruly tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

“We will keep on taking revenge if the US drone attacks continue. And finally a major attack will prove to be an arrow (aimed at) the government,” he warned.

His remarks came as authorities in Lahore carried out widespread raids on suspected militant hideouts rounding up more than 50 people on suspicion of helping the attackers.