Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - In an unprecedented attack, last night a commando of Taliban opened fire and killed 11 foreign climbers, engaged in climbing the Nanga Parbat, the second highest mountain in Pakistan. Among the victims there is also a Nepalese Sherpa named Sona Sherpa, a native of the district of Solukhumbu. Those who lost their lives include five Ukrainians, three Chinese, a Sino-American and a Latvian. Other climbers and eight Nepalese Sherpas were injured in the attack.
According to preliminary reports, the commandos captured the climbers and asked them to hand over all the money they had. Once they received the money, the rebels opened fire and killed the group. The survivors were saved because they not seen by the Taliban.
The reactions from the countries involved has been immediate. China has condemned the attack and called on the Pakistani authorities to find the culprits and protect Chinese nationals living in the country. Nisar Ali Khan, Minister of the Interior of the newly elected Pakistani government, called the attack "an attack not only against foreign citizens, but against Pakistan, who lives in a state of war.
The expedition was organized by Seven Summits Treks, a travel and trekking agency based in Kathmandu. Nepal feels most affected by this attack. "What happened on Nanga Parbat - Tali Sherpa, a famous Nepalese guide, says- puts our lives and our livelihood at risk. Hundreds of Nepalese Sherpas will have to rethink their work, now that Islamic militants have decided to attack us."
That profession of Sherpa is one of the most popular crafts in Nepal and thousands of families depend on excursions like that of Nanga Parbat. 8,126 meters high, the mountain is the second highest peak in Pakistan and the ninth in the world. It is located in the Himalayas, which runs along the border between Pakistan, China and Nepal.