press trust of india
ISLAMABAD, 23 JUNE: Taliban gunmen disguised as soldiers killed ten foreign tourists and a Pakistani in an attack on a base camp in the remote mountains of northern Pakistan, embarrassing the PML-N government just weeks after it assumed office.
About 14 to 16 militants targeted the camp at Buner Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan that serves as a base for mountaineers headed for the 8,126-metre Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth highest peak.
For hours, confusion surrounded the number and nationality of those killed in the attack in Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed territory between Pakistan and India.
Following an autopsy in a state-run hospital in Islamabad, officials announced that the dead included three Ukrainians, two Chinese, two Slovakians, one Lithuanian, one American national of Chinese origin and one Nepalese.
All the foreigners were killed by gunshot wounds in the head.
Officials initially said nine foreigners and one Pakistani were killed. They later revised the toll to 11, including two Pakistanis.
Late at night, other officials said 10 foreigners and a Pakistani were killed.
Earlier, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in parliament that another Chinese tourist had been rescued safely. “The attackers were wearing the uniform of the Gilgit Scouts. They abducted two (Pakistani) guides and demanded they take them to where the foreigners were staying. One (guide) was killed and the other is alive. He has been detained by police for questioning,” Mr Khan said.
The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge the death of the group’s deputy chief, Waliur Rehman, in a US drone strike on 29 May. A Taliban spokesman called journalists and said the attack was carried out by a new faction named Junood-e-Hafsa.