10 including 9 foreigners killed in Gilgit, north Pakistan

 ISLAMABAD, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Ten people including nine foreign tourists and one local guide were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Pakistan's northern area of Gilgit in the wee hours of Sunday morning, said local police on Sunday.
 Deputy Inspector General of Gilgit, Ali Sher, said that the ten killed include five from Ukraine, three from China and one from Russia with the tenth's nationality yet to be determined.  Latest news coming in quoted unidentied sources as saying that the tenth killed is a female local guide.

  Some local media said that altogether 11 people were killed in the incident. However, there is no official confirmation about this figure yet.  Police said that the firing incident took place at about 12:30 a.m. (local time) Sunday when unidentified gunmen opened fired at tourists living in a hotel at the foot of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world.

    There were an estimated 10 to 12 militants involved in the attack, local media quoted eyewitnesses as saying.  They woke up the tourists in sleep and ordered them to come out of the hotel and then opened fired at them, said the report.
  Most of the killed were tourists coming here to climb the mountain, police said, adding that the hotel, which is named Fairy Meadows, is located at a base camp of Nanga Parbat in the remote Diamir area of Gilgit.

  A police officer in Gilgit, who declined to disclose his name and title, told Xinhua on a telephone interview that people first reported the incident to a police station located some 38 kilometers away from the attack site and then police from that station reported it to higher officials in Gilgit.

   He said that the attack site is far away from Gilgit and it would take two days to reach there by road and they were thinking of asking the army to airlift the bodies out of that area, first to Chilas town in Gilgit for postmortem, then to the country's capital of Islamabad.

    The army has also been requested to launch a search operation in the area to hunt down the attackers, said the police officer.The police officer did not disclose the age and sex of the nine killed foreign tourists.  An official from the Chinese Embassy to Pakistan, who asked to remain anonymous, told Xinhua that they have learned about the news and are contacting the concerned Pakistani departments to know more details about the incident.

  Both Pakistani President Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have condemned the attack.No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

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