Islamabad: The bodies of 10 foreign tourists and a Pakistani guide shot dead by gunmen in an unprecedented attack at a remote base camp in the Himalayas have been identified, officials said Monday.
One was an American with dual Chinese citizenship, three came from the Ukraine, two from Slovakia, two others from China, one from Lithuania and one from Nepal, they said.
It was the first attack on mountaineers drawn to the natural beauty and intrepid climbing of northern Pakistan, which until Saturday`s shooting was considered relatively immune from Islamist violence elsewhere in the country.
Pakistan`s umbrella Taliban movement claimed responsibility on behalf of Junood ul-Hifsa, a new faction it said had been set up to kill foreigners to avenge US drone strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
The gunmen stormed into a base camp at the foot of Nanga Parbat, the second tallest mountain in Pakistan, and shot dead the climbers at point-blank range, reports said. One Chinese survived the attack.
The killings will deliver a major blow to foreign trekking expeditions, which provide the last vestige of international tourism in a country on the frontline of Al-Qaeda and Taliban violence.
The bodies of the dead tourists were on Sunday flown to Islamabad from where they will be repatriated.