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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs