Taliban targets heavily fortified hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Pakistani city of Quetta in suicide blast killing four and wounding 11
- The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on a Pakistani hotel in the city of Quetta
- The blast targeted a car park beside the heavily-fortified hotel which is next to the Iranian Consulate
- Pakistani officials said the Chinese Ambassador was staying at the hotel but was uninjured in the blast
A car bomb blast late on Wednesday ripped through a luxury hotel’s parking area in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, killing four people and wounding 11, officials said.
China’s ambassador to Pakistan was staying at the hotel, but was not there when the bomb exploded, said Pakistan’s interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.
Provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Lango said the envoy was fine.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a Pakistani hotel which killed four people and injured 11
The blast hit the car park of the Serena Hotel in the city of Quetta. The Chinese ambassador was staying in the hotel at the time of the blast
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong had earlier in the day met provincial Chief Minister Jam Kamal in the city. The ambassador was not injured in the blast
The hotel is in Quetta near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and is of interest to Chinese investors
‘An explosion has rocked the parking area of the Serena Hotel,’ police official Nasir Malik told Reuters, saying 11 people had been wounded. An official at a local civil hospital, Waseem Baig, said four people had died, and ‘several others are in critical condition.’
‘A car that was full of explosives exploded in the hotel,’ Ahmad told local ARY News TV.
The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.
‘It was a suicide attack in which our suicide bomber used his explosives-filled car in the hotel,’ a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) wrote in a text message to a Reuters reporter.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong had earlier in the day met provincial Chief Minister Jam Kamal in the city, according to a tweet from the provincial government spokesman, Liaquat Shahwani.
The well-fortified hotel is next to the Iranian Consulate and the provincial parliament building
The province is home to the newly expanded Gwadar deepwater port that is key to a planned $65 billion investment in China’s Belt and Road Initiative economic corridor
Injured people were rushed to hospital for emergency treatment following the deadly suicide car bombing
The hotel complex is surrounded by high walls and is protected by security gates which
Lango told reporters: ‘I just met him. He is in high spirits,’ adding the envoy would complete his visit to Quetta on Thursday.
The Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.
The well-fortified hotel is next to the Iranian Consulate and the provincial parliament building. Quetta is the capital of the mineral-rich southwestern Balochistan province bordering Iran and Afghanistan, which has long been the scene of a low-level insurgency by local nationalists, who want more of a share in the regional resources.
The province is home to the newly expanded Gwadar deepwater port that is key to a planned $65 billion investment in China’s Belt and Road Initiative economic corridor.
It was not clear whether the envoy or members of his delegation were a target of the attack, but Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked before by Taliban militants and nationalist insurgents.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack although it is not known whether the Chinese ambassador was the target of the blast