Ukraine condemns attack on climbers in Pakistan

Ukraine on Monday condemned the shooting of three Ukrainian climbers by Islamist gunmen in Pakistan and demanded compensation for the victims' families.

Attackers stormed a base camp at the foot of Pakistan's second-highest peak Nanga Parbat late Saturday, shooting dead 10 foreign trekkers, including three Ukrainians and a Pakistani guide at point-blank range.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevgen Perebiynis at a news conference condemned the "terrorist attack" and said the government had sent a note to Pakistan's acting representative in Ukraine calling for compensation and punishment of the guilty.

"We categorically demand compensation from the Pakistan side," he said, calling the attack "murder carried out with particular cruelty."

Pakistan's umbrella Taliban movement claimed responsibility, saying it had set up a new faction, Junood ul-Hifsa, to kill foreigners to avenge US drone strikes on Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.

The three Ukrainians, identified as Igor Svergun, Dmitry Konyaev and Badavi Kashayev, were travelling in a group of six from the climbing club in the eastern city of Kharkiv, the president of the region's mountaineering and rock-climbing federation, Gennady Kopeika, told AFP.

It was the worst attack on foreigners for a decade in Pakistan and an unprecedented attack on tourists visiting the north, which until Saturday's shootings was considered immune from militancy plaguing other areas.

bur-am/boc