Pakistani Taliban chief claims U.S. shooting

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Sat Apr 4, 2009 2:52am EDT

Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud (C, back towards camera) speaks to reporters during a visit of a media team in South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan in this file photo from May 24, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer

Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud (C, back towards camera) speaks to reporters during a visit of a media team in South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan in this file photo from May 24, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud claimed on Saturday responsibility for an attack on a U.S. immigration center in New York state in which 13 people were killed.

"I accept responsibility. They were my men. I gave them orders in reaction to U.S. drone attacks," Mehsud told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

A man armed with two handguns killed 13 people at an immigration services center before apparently turning the gun on himself, authorities in Binghamton, New York, said.

Representative Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton, told the New York Times that indications are the gunman was an immigrant from Vietnam.

(Reporting by Alamgir Bitani; Writing by Kamran Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel)