GILGIT: Twenty-five local tour guides were arrested in connection with the killing of foreign mountaineers in Gilgit Baltistan on Sunday.
Security forces also took two eyewitnesses with them for questioning.
The victims include two Pakistanis, three Chinese, five Ukrainians and one Russian tourist.
Three injured tourists were shifted to hospital.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar met Chinese and Ukrainian diplomats to express condolence. He said two Chinese, one Nepali and one Chinese American have been identified while the process is under way to identify six others.
“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack,” he said.
Ukrainian envoy said that he took up the matter with the Pakistani government. He hoped that Pakistan would bring the culprits to book.
The incident took place at about 1 a.m. on Sunday (June 23). According to DIG Gilgit Baltistan Ali Sher, the gunmen had attacked a local hotel, where the tourists hailing from different countries including China, Ukraine and Russia were staying, and killed them. DIG further confirmed that 10 bodies were recovered from the hotel so far. The police immediately cordoned off the area and started a thorough door-to-door search operation for the killers.
The first of its kind tourist assassination in Gilgit-Baltistan has spread a wave of terror among the locals of the area, where the tourists industry had started booming again quite recently. Security forces have cordoned off the area and search for the assailants has started. President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the killing of foreign tourists in Diamer‚ Gilgit-Baltistan.
He expressed deep shock and sorrow over the unfortunate incident and said that such acts of barbarity would not be tolerated. He assured that every possible action would be taken to nab the culprits involved in this heinous act and bring them to justice. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has also strongly condemned the killing of ten foreign tourists in Diamer. The Prime Minister said such acts of cruelty and inhumanity would not be tolerated and every effort would be made to make the country a safe place for tourists.
Expressing his sympathies with the bereaved families‚ Nawaz Sharif said that the people and government of Pakistan are with them in this hour of huge distress. Governor Gilgit Baltistan Pir Syed Karam Ali Shah and Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah also condemned the incident.