Ten Killed in Nanga Parbat Attack

On Saturday night gunmen reportedly posing as police killed ten people at the Nanga Parbat base camp in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan.

Nanga Parbat, 137 kb
Nanga Parbat
© tomchyk, Aug 2007

Nine tourists from China, the Ukraine and Lithuania died in the attack, along with one guide who's nationality has been variously described as Pakistani or Nepali. One Chinese survivor has been recovered.

The attack is thought to have been carried out by Sunni militants, though reports vary as to the name of the group responsible. The Pakistani Taliban have contacted the BBC to claim responsibility. It's also been claimed that the victims were robbed before being shot.

'There were nine foreigners and one Pakistani. The incident took place around 10:00 pm (1700 GMT Saturday). They were mountaineers' Diamer police official Mohammed Naveed told AFP.

'Gunmen came and opened fire on them. It is confirmed that they have been killed'.

Gilgit-Baltistan is part of disputed Kashmir, where in recent years sectarian violence has been targeted at the Shia minority. However this is the first such attack on foreign tourists in the remote mountain region.

Speaking to Pakistan's Parliament, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar claimed the gunmen were disguised as paramilitary police, and gained access to the camp by kidnapping two guides. That far into the mountains, there was no police escort to protect the tourists.

'They abducted two guides and through them reached the area. One guide was killed in the shoot-out. One is alive. He is now detained and being questioned' he said.

On Radio Pakistan Gilgit governor Syed Mehdi Shah said:

'A lot of tourists come to this area in the summer, and our local people work to earn money from these people. This will not only affect our area, but will adversely affect all of Pakistan.'

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