A northern Pakistan affiliate of the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the murder of 10 people at or near base camp on Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth-highest mountain, Climbing Magazine reported on June 23.
“A group of militants dressed in police uniforms reportedly entered the base camp area after midnight on June 23, bound the Pakistani staff, and shot and killed at least nine climbers or trekkers and one expedition staffer. The dead were from China, Lithuania, Nepal, Pakistan, Slovakia, and Ukraine,” the article stated.
According to the article, the base camp has been sealed and a manhunt is underway for the killers. Reportedly, a local branch of the Taliban said the murders were intended to avenge the death of one of their leaders killed in a U.S. drone strike.
The U.S. Department of State continues to discourage non-essential travel to Pakistan, but lists the safest option for trekkers as joining an organized group or using a reputable firm that provides experienced guides and porters. Trekkers are also advised to sign-up with STEP and to provide a copy of their itinerary to family or friends in the United States. Additionally, a Pakistani Army Liaison Officer must accompany all mountain climbing expeditions.
“While overall crime in the northern areas is low,” the Department of State website reads, “There have been occasional assaults on foreigners.”
To read more of the Climbing Magazine article, click here.