Ten climbers who were attempting to summit the world’s 9th tallest peak, Nanga Parbat (26,660ft) in Northern Pakistan, have been murdered by members of the Taliban. According to reports gathered by the Alpine Club of Pakistan, approximately 15 gunmen attacked the base camp located in a historically peaceful region around 11 p.m. on Saturday night. A spokesmen for the Pakistani Taliban has taken responsibility for the gruesome attack in retaliation for a U.S. drone attack which killed their deputy leader Waliur Rehman on May 29th. The spokesman also added that it had been carried out by their Jundul Hafsa faction—which has been assembled to specifically target foreigners. Among the dead are a Chinese-American citizen, along with three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, two Chinese, one Lithuanian, and one Nepalese citizen.
In a telephone conversation with the Associated Press, Taliban spokesmen Ahsanullah Ahsan said: “By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks,”
According to the BBC, the gunmen would have had to hike nearly 18 hours to the base camp located at nearly 14,000ft before killing the ten victims. Pakistani authorities have roughly 35 suspects in custody, but admit they do not have any of the “ringleaders” of the operation.
Expeditions to Nanga Parbat have since been cancelled, and remaining climbers have been evacuated.
Source: BBC News