Pakistan News : Pakistan on Monday suspended expeditions on its second-highest peak, evacuating climbers from Nanga Parbat after 10 foreign tourists were shot dead by gunmen at a base camp.
Well-armed and well-prepared attackers dressed in police uniforms stormed the camp at the foot of Nanga Parbat late Saturday, shooting dead the climbers and a Pakistani guide at point-blank range, officials said.
The victims have been identified as an American with dual Chinese citizenship, three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, two others from China, a Lithuanian and a climber from Nepal.
It was an unprecedented attack on mountaineers drawn to the natural beauty and intrepid climbing of northern Pakistan, which until Saturday’s shooting was considered immune from Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked violence plaguing other parts of the country.
“We are really shocked, traumatised and full of anger. Pakistan is known among the mountaineering community. It was a brutal massacre. These people were killed for no reason,” said Manzoor Hussain, president of the Alpine Club of Pakistan.
Around 40 remaining climbers on Nanga Parbat have been evacuated to the northern city of Gilgit with treks on the peak now unsafe, he told AFP.
“Local authorities have evacuated them. They have all been informed of this incident,” Hussain said.
“We are reviewing the overall security situation. The fallout apparently will be serious.”Hussain said there would be no further expeditions on Nanga Parbat this summer and that requests for winter climbs would be subject to a security review.
“This season is over for them,” Hussain said.
It is a major blow to foreign trekking expeditions, which provide the last vestige of international tourism in a country where Islamist militants have killed thousand of people in recent years.