News / Asia

    Gunmen Kill 9 Foreign Tourists, Local Guide in Pakistan

    Snow packed mountain of Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest peak, in northern Pakistan (file photo).
    Snow packed mountain of Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest peak, in northern Pakistan (file photo).
    Ayaz Gul
    Authorities in Pakistan say gunmen have shot dead nine foreign climbers and one of their local guides at a base camp of one of the world’s highest mountains in the country’s north.

    The pre-dawn shooting in the relatively peaceful northern Gilgit-Baltistan region took place at the base camp of Nanga Parbat (8,125 meters), which is the ninth highest mountain in the world. 

    Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told an ongoing session of the national parliament in Islamabad Sunday afternoon that six Ukrainians, three Chinese and their Pakistani guide are among the victims.

    He said that "militants disguised as security forces raided the base camp of the foreign climbers and unfortunately nine of them along with a local guide lost their lives."

    The minister added that a Chinese climber managed to escape the shooting and was later rescued by a military helicopter. Khan said that a second Pakistani guide in the group has also survived and he is currently being questioned.

    Pakistani troops, assisted by the local civilian administration, have cordoned off the area, and a massive manhunt is under way to capture the attackers.

    Authorities and locals believe the killings are not the work of ordinary criminals, and the gunmen must have trained and planned the attack for months because the area is accessible to only climbers, local guides and Pakistani troops.

    Regional expert Amjad Ayub is the president of Private Tour Operators Association.

    “The incident took place at the western base camp of the Nanga Parbat. The elevation where this happened is about 4,000 meters. It is a quite high area and a wild area. There is no population around [and] no villages. Obviously, they [attackers] are trained people. They have been doing this planning for months, for years may be,” he said.

    Ayub said that this was the first-ever incident in the region in which foreign climbers were attacked, and he feared it was likely to damage tourism, causing millions of dollars in losses to Pakistan. He demanded authorities take immediate steps to bring the culprits to justice to protect the only industry providing livelihood to the underdeveloped region. 

    “The economy of Gilgit-Baltistan is totally based on the tourism. And such incidents mean that you are going to kill economically the whole area,” said the expert.

    Pakistan has witnessed an unusual rise in militant and sectarian attacks across the country in recent weeks. Officials blame local Taliban extremists for being behind most of the deadly violence.
      
    The country has been fighting extremist forces on its territory for more than a decade but former diplomat and columnist Maleeha Lodhi said the threat has intensified in recent years because Pakistan “lacks consistency” in the counter-militancy approach.

    “It is responding and reacting when a certain crisis takes place in a certain part of Pakistan rather than having a coherent consistent approach. We have seen a very erratic inconsistent and a firefighting approach. This must change if Pakistan is to overcome this challenge,” said Lodhi.

    Since taking charge after last month’s national elections, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government says it is working on “war-footing” to devise a national counter-militancy strategy, blaming the former ruling coalition for not addressing the issue during its five-year term.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    June 23, 2013 1:06 PM
    There is a typo in the fifth paragraph. "Sight" should be "site".

    by: AHMED from: PAKISTAN
    June 23, 2013 1:04 PM
    This is a very very sad affairs. Our news will not be completed without killing news of innocent peoples around 25/30 per day. Current Govt is also doing the same thing which we have bitter experience of FIVE YEARS, issue statement,enquiry for the sake of killing time and that is all. They never visited affected area. This is very sad affairs, USA have more accurate information then our BIG ESTABLISHMENTS.We request to USA to continue attack on terrorist area, Our Govt cannot take any steps. They can only make policy,law which they cannot implement them self. I cannot understand why they cannot catch culpirits, even young boy have full information about their area but our intelligence who are eating billions of rupees every year have no information about their head office and branch office. I think every body is shareholder in this game and they are folling peoples.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora