10 foreign tourists killed by militants in northern Pakistan

Ten foreign tourists and a Pakistani were shot to death by Islamic militants dressed in police uniforms early Sunday, at the base of the Nanga Parbat peak that the tourists were visiting. 

The foreigners killed included two Chinese, one Chinese-American and one Nepalese, Attaur Rehman, home secretary in the Gilgit-Baltistan area where the attack took place, told The Associated Press.

The other six have not been identified.

Earlier, Pakistan's interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said nine foreigners and one Pakistani were killed. He said the dead included five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian.

It's unclear why the accounts differed.

The murdered Pakistani was a tourist guide, according to Xinhua. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Militants kill six soldiers in NW Pakistan 

It remains unclear if the tourists were planning to summit the Himalayan peak or were merely visiting the base camp, the Associated Press reported. Northern Pakistan was previously thought to be relatively safe in comparison to the rest of the South Asian nation. 

"By killing foreigners, we wanted to give a message to the world to play their role in bringing an end to the drone attacks," said Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan of the killings. The gunmen escaped the scene of the crime and are still at large. 

A spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban group said that the murder of the tourists was a retaliation move for the death of second-in-command Waliur Rehman, thought to have been killed in a US drone strike recently, BBC News reported.

‘'It is not just an attack on tourists,'’ said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to the Pakistani Parliament Sunday morning, according to the New York Times. "It is an attack on Pakistan.'’

Nanga Parbat is the planet's ninth-highest mountain and is well-loved by international mountaineers, who regularly travel to this remote region of Northern Pakistan to summit the peak. Until today, mountaineers have been relatively unscathed by the violence that has hit other regions of Pakistan.