Car bombing at hotel in southwest Pakistan kills 4, wounds 11

Car bombing at hotel in southwest Pakistan kills 4, wounds 11

An explosion took place late Wednesday night in the parking of a hotel on Quetta's Jinnah Road, leaving four people dead on the spot and twelve others injured.

'An explosion has rocked the parking area of the Serena Hotel, ' police official Nasir Malik told Reuters, saying 11 people had been wounded.

The hotel is in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province that has always been the scene of low-level insurgency from local nationalists.

Officials said that Chinese ambassador and other Chinese officials were staying at the hotel but were not present in the hotel when the blast took place in the parking lot.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility.

Three people killed in the attack have been identified as police officer Shujaat Abbasi, hotel security in charge Shahzaib Yousafzai, and private security guard Asadullah. They have for decades staged attacks to press their demands for independence.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed quickly blamed neighbouring India for the hotel bombing, although he provided no evidence to back up the allegation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the provincial capital.

Liaquat Shahwani, a provincial government spokesman. called the bombing an act of terrorism without elaborating.

"Anti-Pakistan elements want to damage the country's peace".

Balochistan Inspector General Muhammad Tahir Rai told the media that neither the Chinese ambassador nor other members of any foreign delegation were staying at the hotel when the blast occurred. During the visit, Nong met the governor and chief minister of the province and later donated 1,700 food packets to needy families in a food distribution ceremony.

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhary tweeted that a preliminary investigation was underway.

Arbab Kamran Kasi, a doctor at Quetta's main hospital, said about a dozen wounded were being brought their and they declared an emergency at the hospital to handle victims. Pakistan's militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan.

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