Monday, June 24, 2013

Pakistan: Update--Pakistanti Guide, Ten Foreigners robbed, Shot, Killed by Possible Taliban Elements

According to The Associated Press, international media now reports that in addition to a Pakistani guide, ten foreigners were robbed and killed, not nine foreigners as earlier reported.

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 10 foreigners who were killed included two Chinese, one Chinese-American and one Nepalese, said Attaur Rehman, home secretary in the Gilgit-Baltistan area where the attack took place. The other six have not been fully identified. One Pakistani was also killed. 

Pakistan's interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said earlier that nine foreigners and one Pakistani were killed. He said the dead included five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian. One Chinese tourist was wounded in the attack and was rescued, said Khan. It is unclear what caused the discrepancy between the two accounts.

COMMENT: As I mentioned previously in my earlier posting, NO foreign tourists should be visiting Pakistan, given the fact that most foreigners are at high risk of being targeted by the Taliban.

Although some parts of the country are deemed "safe," by Pakistanis, the reality is that foreigners will be sought out by the Taliban no matter where in the country they've been observed.

The gunmen took the money and passports of the foreigners and then summarily gunned them down. 

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).  It is unclear if the tourists were planning to climb the mountain or were just visiting the base camp, which is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

The gunmen were wearing uniforms used by the Gilgit Scouts, a paramilitary police force that patrols the area, said the interior minister. 

The assailants abducted two local guides to find their way to the remote base camp. One of the guides was killed in the shooting, and the other has been detained and is being questioned.