American Was Among 10 Climbers Slain By Taliban

Assault at Nanga Parbat in retribution for drone strikes

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 23, 2013 6:17 AM CDT | Updated Jun 23, 2013 12:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – At least a dozen Islamic militants wearing police uniforms shot to death overnight a Pakistani and 10 foreign tourists, including an American, who were visiting one of the world's highest mountains in a remote area of northern Pakistan that has been largely peaceful, officials said today. The 10 foreigners dead included two Chinese, one Chinese-American, one Nepalese, and one Pakistani guide, said the home secretary in the Gilgit-Baltistan area where the attack took place. The local Taliban took responsibility for the killings, saying it was to avenge the death of a leader killed in a US drone strike on May 29. "By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks," said a spokesman.

The attack took place at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world at 26,660 feet. The BBC reports the group intended to climb the mountain, which is known as the "killer mountain" because of numerous mountaineering deaths there in the past. "The government of Pakistan expresses its deep sense of shock and grief on this brutal act of terrorism," said a statement by the foreign ministry, saying it would "take all measures to ensure the safety of foreign tourists."

In this May 4, 2004, file photo, Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. Gunmen killed foreign tourists and one Pakistani before dawn Sunday, June 23, 2013.
In this May 4, 2004, file photo, Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. Gunmen killed foreign tourists and one Pakistani before dawn Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Musaf Zaman Kazmi, File)
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