Taliban's new target: 10 Himalayan tourists slain in brazen attack
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
ISLAMABAD — Islamic militants disguised as policemen killed 10 foreign climbers and a Pakistani guide in a brazen overnight raid on their campsite at the base of one of the world's tallest mountains, officials said on Sunday.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack at the base camp of Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan, saying it was to avenge the death of their deputy leader in a U.S. drone strike last month.
The attack took place in an area of the Himalayas that has largely been peaceful, hundreds of miles from the Taliban's major sanctuaries along the Afghan border.
The Taliban began their attack by abducting two local guides, forcing them to lead them to the remote base camp in Gilgit-Baltisan, said Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. One of the guides was killed in the shooting, and the other has been detained for questioning.
An estimated 15 gunmen attacked the camp about 11 p.m. Saturday, said the Alpine Club of Pakistan, which spoke with a local guide, Sawal Faqir, a survivor of the shooting. The terrorists began by beating the mountaineers and taking away any mobile and satellite phones they could find and everyone's money.
Some climbers and guides were able to run away; the others were shot dead, said the club. Faqir was able to hide a satellite phone and eventually used it to alert authorities.
The dead foreigners included three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, two Chinese, one Lithuanian, one Nepalese and one Chinese-American, according to tour operators who were working with the climbers. Matt Boland, the acting spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, confirmed that an American citizen was among the dead.
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying their Jundul Hafsa faction carried out the shooting as retaliation for the death of the Taliban's deputy leader, Waliur Rehman, in a U.S. drone attack on May 29.
“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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Thousands gather for Turkish teen’s funeral
- In North Korea, voting’s really a breeze: You must vote and you get 1 candidate
- Statue of Egypt pharoanic princess found in Luxor
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 aboard feared lost
- Missing Malaysia Airlines plane a terror target?
- Swedish journalist slain in Kabul
- Vanished jet’s wild turn adds to mystery