Taliban kills foreign climbers
Gunmen stormed a camp on Pakistans second largest mountain on Sunday, killing nine foreign climbers in a brazen assault that could deal a blow to the countrys efforts to jumpstart its tourism industry.
Pakistans Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retribution for a suspected U.S. drone strike last month that killed Wali ur-Rehman, the second highest-ranking leader of the terrorist group.
Through this killing we gave a message to international community to ask U.S. to stop drone strikes, said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman.
The attack in northern Pakistan at Nanga Parbat, the worlds ninth tallest mountain, occurred around 1 a.m. as the climbers and their guides were at a camp at about 4,000 feet above sea level. According to local and regional officials, about a dozen gunmen tied up the climbers Pakistani guides before shooting the climbers as they slept in tents.
The attackers reportedly wore police uniforms, an increasingly common tactic Taliban militants have used to evade scrutiny.
In all, 11 people were killed, including five from Ukraine, three from China and one from Russia. Two Pakistanis were also reportedly killed. At least one Chinese tourist survived and was later rescued from the area, known as Ferry Meadows, officials said.
The assault occurred in the picturesque Gilgit Ballistan area, a popular tourist area in the Himalayan Mountains near the countrys border with China. Nanga Parbat rises to an elevation of 26,660 feet. The worlds second largest mountain, K2, with an elevation of 28,251, straddles Gilgit Ballistan's border with China.
Posted by: tipper 2013-06-23