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Pakistani Taliban Leader Claims Responsibility for Lahore Attack, Threatens US

The commander of Pakistan's Taliban has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a police academy in Lahore and threatened to attack the United States.

In telephone interviews with several news organizations, Baitullah Mehsud said the Lahore attack was carried out in retaliation for the Pakistani government's support of the U.S. drone attacks in tribal areas bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He also dismissed a $5 million bounty the U.S. put on his head, promising that more attacks were on the way and that the United States could be a target.

Mehsud told the Associated Press that an assault on Washington is coming "soon" and would "amaze" the world.

Monday's attack on the police training facility left eight recruits dead. Gunmen shot their way inside the complex during morning drills, took hostages and fired on cadets.

After an eight-hour standoff, hundreds of Pakistani commandos stormed the building, retaking the facility.

The interior ministry said Monday at least three of the attackers were arrested, and another three blew themselves up with suicide vests.

Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said one of the suspects in custody is from Afghanistan.

Officials say at least 700 cadets were at the academy at the time of the attack, which came less than a month after at least 12 gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team with rockets and grenades as it approached Lahore's Gadhafi stadium.

In that incident, the gunmen escaped after killing seven Pakistanis and wounding six Sri Lankan players and a coach.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.