Pakistani Taliban leader claims responsibility for US attack

Pakistani Taliban leader claims responsibility for US attack Islamabad  - Pakistan's top Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud Saturday claimed responsibility for the shootings at an US immigration services centre in New York state that killed 13 people.

"I accept the responsibility. They were my men," Mehsud told reporters in Peshawar on phone from some undisclosed location.

A lone gunman took more than 40 immigrants hostage Friday when they were taking a citizenship class at the American Civic Association building in Binghamton, located around 225 kilometres north-west of New York city.

The attacker, later identified as Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong, 42, killed 13 people before shooting himself in the head. Four more people were also critically wounded.

Mehsud said the massacre was in revenge for the continued US drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The seven semi-autonomous tribal districts are known to serve as sanctuaries for al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels.

The militant commander added that his men would hit US targets until Washington halted the missile strikes.

Pakistan's private Aaj news channel quoted Mehsud as saying that his group was ready for and even deadlier attack, apparently on US soil.

Mehsud's claim came five days after he made a similar statement about three recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including an assault on a police training academy near the eastern city of Lahore on Monday, which killed seven recruits and a civilian.

In Tuesday's statement, the Taliban leader had also threatened future attacks inside the US. (dpa)