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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid