Mountaineer Exits Expedition Just Before Taliban Kills His Entire Team

World class mountaineer Gabriel Filippi decided last Saturday to drop his attempt to scale Pakistan's Nanga Parbat so he could return to the capital city of Islamabad to spend more time with his family.

Hours later, Taliban gunmen stormed the expedition camp, killing 10 climbers and one guide.

The attack, "the first of its kind," according to Deutsche Welle, claimed the lives of three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, one Lithuanian, two Chinese nationals, one American citizen, a Pakistani man, and a Nepalese guide.

The attackers, members of the Pakistani Taliban, were reportedly disguised as police officers, which the Washington Post says is "an increasingly common tactic that Taliban militants have used to evade scrutiny."

In a statement of responsibility, a Taliban spokesman said the massacre was in retaliation for a drone strike that killed the terror group's second-in-command, Wali ur-Rehman.

Hauser Exkursionen, a German company which organizes expeditions to the world's ninth highest summit, said an upcoming tour had been cancelled in light of the attack, but also assured mountain climbers it would not give in to fear.

"It would also be wrong to 'close down' Pakistan for the next few years," said spokesman Eberhard Andres.

Filippi, who learned of the attack upon returning to his home province of Quebec, released a brief statement honoring his climbing partner Ernestas Marksaitis and the other climbers who were killed, "with whom I shared a cup of tea, chatted or helped on the mountain."

[screengrab via Gabriel Filippi]