A bomb blast in the parking lot of a luxury hotel in the Pakistani city of Quetta has killed four people and wounded 12 others, the local administration officials said.
Chinese Ambassador Was Staying at the Hotel
Reports suggest that the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan was staying at the 5-star Serena Hotel at the time of the attack.
Home Minister Balochistan Ziaullah Langove confirmed that the Chinese ambassador was staying at Quetta Serena Hotel when the bomb explosion occurred. However, he didn’t comment on the motives of the attackers.
Langove said no guests staying at the hotel were injured, but a policeman and four people died in the bomb explosion.
Pakistani TV channels showed rescue teams rushing the victims to hospitals. They also showed cars burning in the hotel’s parking area.
Provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani termed the attack an “act of terrorism.” Terrorists don’t want to see peace, progress, and prosperity in the province, he said.
Moreover, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan condemned the attack in a tweet.
Most foreigners prefer to stay at Quetta Serena Hotel because it is the only high-end hotel in the province. It has also remained overall safe over the years despite the rising attacks in the region.
Linkage of the Incident With Separatist Groups Fighting for Independence
Quetta is the capital of the south-western Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is worth noting here that Baloch separatists have been rebelling against the Pakistani government for decades. These include the Balochistan Liberation Army and Balochistan Liberation Front.
These groups have been launching attacks to highlight their calls for self-rule. The notorious terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is also present in Balochistan.
It is also noteworthy that the bomb blast in Quetta occurred shortly after Pakistan inaugurated a new border crossing with Iran in Balochistan. The new initiative’s aim is to boost trade and improve economic ties. Balochistan province borders both Afghanistan and Iran.
Pakistan Interior Minister Holds India Responsible for the Bomb Blast
Meanwhile, Pakistani Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed has held India responsible for the Serena hotel bomb blast. However, he didn’t provide any evidence to support his claim.
Mr. Shaikh said Pakistan had a single enemy, and that was India. He hinted at India’s alleged support for the Baloch separatists.
He added that the country’s intelligence agencies had warned about likely attacks in the Pakistani capital Islamabad and other places. The information had been communicated to the relevant departments to boost security, he said.
Injured Rushed to Hospital
Kamran Kasi, a doctor at a Quetta hospital near the explosion site, revealed that around a dozen injured people were brought to the hospital. The hospital administration declared an emergency to cope with the situation, he added.