10 Climbers Killed in Pakistan

Taliban claims responsibility

climbing pakistan baintha brakk karkoram

Baintha Brakk from the air.     Photo: ISS Earthkam

An attack by the Pakistani Taliban has claimed the lives of nine tourists and one Pakistani on a mountaineering expedition in Northern Pakistan on Sunday. The foreigners were part of an expedition slated to climb Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth highest mountain and Pakistan's second highest peak. 

Wearing police uniforms, the attackers tied up the Pakistani guides before shooting the climbers as they slept in tents. The attack occurred around 1 a.m. as the climbers were camped only 4,000 feet above sea level. 

Unlike many other regions of Pakistan, the area surrounding Nanga Parbat has seen little violence in recent years and mountaineers were previously considered one of the few groups untouched by the danger. Mr. Khan, the nation's interior minister, has suspended the police chief and the chief secretary of the region in response to the attack, and has framed it as an attempt to disrupt Pakistan's relations with the world. 

"It is not just an attack on tourists," Mr. Khan told the New York Times. "It is an attack on Pakistan."

The Pakistani Taliban announced the assault was in retaliation for American drone strikes in the tribal belt which killed Taliban deputy leader, Wali ur-Rehman on May 29. However, it climbing group was comprised of at least five Ukrainians and three Chinese (thigh the nationality of the ninth tourist remains unclear).

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