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One American among 9 foreign tourists, 2 others shot to death at camp in northern Pakistan

Farooq Naeem / AFP - Getty Images

Pakistani rescuers move a coffin of a foreign tourist from an ambulance to a hospital in Islamabad on June 23.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Armed men entered a camp in northern Pakistan and killed nine foreign tourists, including one American citizen, as well as a tour guide and a guard, police and government officials said Sunday.

Five Ukrainians, two Chinese nationals and one American of Chinese origin, one Russian, one Pakistani security guard and a local guide were killed at a base camp for climbers attempting Nanga Parbat, officials said.

Nanga Parbat is the world's ninth-highest peak, in a remote and mountainous area of Gilgit-Baltistan province.

"Unidentified gunmen last night entered a hotel where foreign tourists were staying and opened fire at them," said the Gilgit police chief, Deputy Inspector General Ali Sher.

Pakistani militants claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for drone strikes. 

"We carried out (the) attack and killed 10 foreigners in Gilgit-Baltistan. Our attacks on foreigners will continue to protest over drone strikes," a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban Ihsanullah Ihsan told NBC News over the telephone.

Earlier, a spokesman for Jundullah, an extremist anti-Shiite group with links to the Taliban, also said it was behind the attack.

Police had said around 15 armed men dressed in uniforms of the Gilgit-Baltistan Frontier Force entered the camp at Bollar Nalla consisting of a small hotel and tents and held local staff members hostage. Sher said the incident took place about 1 a.m. Sunday. 

Fareed Khan / AP

Images of daily life, political pursuits, religious rites and deadly violence.

"The gunmen shot dead a local security guard and then started killing foreign tourists and made their good escape," a senior government official said in Gilgit.

The police said they had cordoned off the area and launched a search. Sher said no arrests had been made so far.

It was unclear how the armed men reached the remote area and then escaped.

The official in Gilgit said the victims had been planning to climb Nanga Parbat. Police and military officials said another group of foreign tourists was staying in same area but some distance away and weren't attacked.

"It will take some time to ascertain identity of the slain tourists, and if there were some females among them, as it's a far-flung area," Sher said.

Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and termed it an "immoral and inhuman act."

Gilgit-Baltistan province is known for sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. It is home to some of the highest moutains in the world and attracts climbers and trekkers. 

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