Colo. climber delays Pakistani summit after Taliban attack

Posted on: 8:37 am, June 24, 2013, by , updated on: 12:47pm, June 24, 2013

DENVER — Just last week Dr. John Kedrowski was on the Good Day Colorado show talking about his expedition to summit a pair of mountains in Pakistan.

The, over the weekend came news that 10 foreign climbers and a guide were killed by Taliban gunmen at a remote camp.

The attack took place at the base of Nanga Parbat between midnight and 1 a.m. on Sunday, according to senior police official Ali Sher.

Over the phone Monday morning, Kedrowski said he and his team were safe at a hotel in Islamabad.

His team was on the way to Nanga Parba twhen they heard about the shooting.

“We immediately turned around and returned back to safety in Islamabad,” Kedrowski said.

“Some of the people who survived the attacks, or were above the base camp on Nanga Parbat, at the ninth highest mountain in the world have arrived here at our hotel,” Kedrowski said.

He said many have “looks of distraught.”

The victims were: three Ukranians, two Slovakians, two Chinese, one Lithuanian, one Chinese-American, one Nepali, and one Pakistani guide.

“The attackers abducted two local guides and demanded they take them to where some foreigners are staying to carry out the attack,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told parliament on Sunday. “One (guide) was then killed, another escaped and has been detained by police for questioning.”

The tourists had no security escort, the minister said.

Kedrowski said his expedition is now waiting for clearance from the Pakistani military to proceed, perhaps with a military escort.

The Pakistan Taliban targeted the foreigners because the international community supports drone strikes, said spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan.

The attack was also to avenge the killing of Emir Wali-ur-Rehman in a drone strike in Waziristan last month, the spokesman said.

“It’s been all over the newspapers here that the Taliban also wanted to send a message to basically all foreigners that maybe Pakistan is not the safest place to come and visit at this time,” Kedrowski said.

CNN contributed to this report.