Islamic militants dressed as policemen have shot dead ten foreign tourists and a Pakistani guide in an unprecedented attack at their base camp on one of the world’s highest mountains in northern Pakistan.
The gunmen reportedly abducted two local guides to take them to the remote base camp in Gilgit-Baltisan and shot dead the tourists at point-blank range, in one of the worst attacks on foreigners in Pakistan.
Among those killed were mountaineers from Ukraine, Slovakia, Lithuania, Nepal, China and Russia, and their local guide. One Chinese national survived the attack, reports AFP.
Northern Pakistan, which draws foreign tourists attempting to climb Nanga Parbat, has been largely peaceful until Saturday’s shootings.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack saying that it was to avenge the death of their deputy leader in a US drone strike last month, reports said.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said their Jundul Hafsa faction carried out the shooting as a retaliation for the death of the Taliban’s deputy leader, Waliur Rehman, in a US drone attack.
“By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks,” Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.