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

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid