Taliban claims deadly police academy attack

Pakistan's top Taliban commander claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on a police training facility on Tuesday.

The top Taliban commander in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on a police training facility on Tuesday.

Baitullah Mehsud told reporters by telephone on Tuesday that the Taliban were behind Monday's attack on the Manawan Police Training School on the outskirts of Lahore.

"Yes, we have carried out this attack. I will give details later," Mehsud told Reuters.

At least 12 people, including seven cadets and two civilians, were killed in the eight-hour gun battle that began in the early morning as dozens of cadets were participating in drills on the outdoor parade ground.

Three militants also blew themselves up, officials said.

More than 90 people at the site of the attack were injured, officials said.

On Monday, a Taliban member claiming to speak on behalf of a shadowy, little-known group called the Fedayeen al-Islam claimed it was behind the attack.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik had blamed the attack on Taliban on Monday.

"There are two choices: to either let the Taliban take over your country or to fight it out. At this time the nation must unite and show its unity," Malik said.

Mehsud said that Pakistani Taliban were responsible for a series of attacks in the country recently, including a car bombing on Monday in Bannu district that killed four soldiers.

Pakistan has endured scores of suicide bombings and other attacks in recent years, and it faces tremendous U.S. pressure to eradicate al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents on its soil. Most of the violence occurs along the country's northwest border with Afghanistan, but cities in the east have not escaped, with Lahore seemingly an increasingly alluring target.

Mehsud also said Pakistani Taliban are planning an attack on the United States.

"Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," Mehsud said.

The U.S. has a $6.3 million bounty on Mehsud.

With files from the Associated Press