Islamabad: Taliban fighters today gunned down two army officers and a senior police official who were linked with a probe into the killing of 10 foreign mountaineers in northern Pakistan.
Col Ghulam Mustafa, Capt Ashfaq Aziz and Senior Superintendent of Police Hilal Ahmed died when the rebels ambushed their vehicle in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan region before dawn.
Two guards were injured in the attack, police officials said. The officials were returning from a briefing on progress in the investigation of the killing of the mountaineers at the base camp of Nanga Parbat peak in June.
Ali Sher, the police chief of the region, said the incident seemed to be a targeted attack to kill a "senior police officer" investigating the killing of the foreign climbers.
Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the attack. Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation but were unable to trace the attackers.
The targeted killing of the officials shows that the Taliban are well entrenched in Gilgit-Baltistan and can kill people at will, analysts said. State-run Radio Pakistan described the incident as a "terrorist attack".
Mustafa was reportedly responsible for internal security in the region that borders Kohistan district of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Pakistan is still probing the death of 10 foreign mountaineers, including two Chinese, one American, one Nepalese, three Ukrainians, two Slovaks and one Lithuanian, and their Pakistani guide near the base camp of Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s second highest peak.
They were killed over a month ago by militants disguised as security personnel.