NPR : News

Filed Under:

Pakistan Gunmen Kill Foreign Climbers In Brazen Attack

(This story was last updated at 10:40 a.m. ET)

Armed assailants attacked a hotel at a Himalayan base camp in Pakistan, gunning down nine foreign climbers and a local guide as the group prepared for an ascent of one of the world's tallest peaks.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports that Ukrainians and Chinese climbers, as well as a Pakistani guide, were killed in the attack at 26,246-foot Nanga Parbat, about 150 miles northeast of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

Some reports said a Russian climber was also among those killed. Another report said a Chinese climber managed to escape.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was in retaliation for American drone strikes in the tribal belt of the country's west, according to The New York Times.

Philip says that the militants were reportedly wearing police uniforms when they stormed into the hotel, after finding it with the help of a local guide, whom they'd abducted. They shot dead a second guide.

The Times says the attack "occurred in far-flung Gilgit-Baltistan, a beautiful, mountainous part of northern Pakistan where attacks on foreigners have been rare in recent years, although there has been sporadic sectarian violence."

Reuters quotes a senior official from the Gilgit-Baltistan region as saying that "the gunmen held the staff hostage and then started killing foreign tourists and made their escape."

The news agency says it's the first time foreign tourists have been attacked in Gilgit-Baltistan, "where the convergence of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayan ranges has created a stunning landscape explored by only a trickle of the most intrepid mountaineers."

According to The Times:

"... the incident is likely to badly damage what remains of the country's tourism sector. Until now, mountaineers were considered one of the few groups that remained impervious to the perceived perils of visiting Pakistan. ... Sunday's unprecedented attack introduced a new element of risk that is likely to affect such expeditions, at least in the short term."

Nanga Parbat is the world's ninth-tallest peak and Pakistan's second highest, after K-2.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for Voting Rights

Kojo explores the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper who became an outspoken voice in the civil rights movement and the fight for voting rights.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys and Gal

Chrysler recalls cars to boost their cybersecurity. Microsoft debuts its new Windows 10 operating system. And navigation tech could bring us robotic lawn mowers. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.