Islamic militants wearing police uniforms shot to death nine foreign tourists and one Pakistani, before dawn Sunday as they were climbing one of the world’s highest mountains, in a remote area of northern Pakistan that has been largely peaceful, officials said.
The foreigners who were killed included five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian, said Pakistani interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. One Chinese tourist was wounded in the attack and was rescued, he said.
The local branch of the Taliban took responsibility for the killings, saying it was to avenge the death of a leader killed in a recent US drone strike.
The shooting was one of the worst attacks on foreigners in Pakistan in recent years and is likely to damage the country’s already struggling tourism industry. Pakistan’s mountainous north — considered until now relatively safe — is one of the main attractions in a country beset with insurgency and other political instability.
The attack took place at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 feet). Nanga Parbat is notoriously difficult to climb and is known as the “killer mountain” because of numerous mountaineering deaths in the past.