Deadly blast at Pakistan hotel hosting China ambassador, says official

Security personnel and volunteers arrive at the site of an explosion in Quetta

Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, who was staying at the same hotel, was not present at the time of the blast.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed says anti-Pakistan elements want to destroy the country's peace.

Pakistan has almost completed a fence along the border with Afghanistan, which Islamabad says is necessary to prevent militant attacks from both sides.

At least four people were killed and a dozen others wounded when a bomb exploded at a top hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in southwestern Pakistan, officials said late yesterday.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirmed the casualties in the blast.

Assistant Commissioner Jaffarabad Bilal Shabbir and Assistant Commissioner Revenue Quetta Aijaz Ahmed also injured in the blast that occurred in the parking area of a private hotel. The blast killed four people, including a police officer and a hotel security guard. Per the police, the initial investigation has revealed the explosion was caused when explosive material, planted inside a vehicle, detonated.

The ambassador was not at the hotel at the time of Wednesday's explosion, Langove told Al Jazeera. "He was attending a function at another place in the city".

Speaking to the media, IG Balochistan Muhammad Tahir Rai said that police are still gauging the intensity of the blast and how many kilograms of explosive material was used in the blast.

However, police said that initial investigation revealed that the explosive device was planted in a vehicle which was parked in the hotel's parking area.

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani spoke to Geo News to condemn the incident, describing it as a "terrorist attack" committed by those who did not wish to see Balochistan prosper.

He said an investigation was being carried out and the perpetrators of the blast will not be able to escape the law.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the Serena hotel blast.

He added that despite the security measures, the vehicle carrying explosives managed to enter the parking lot from the main gate of the hotel, which is a matter of big concern and the people responsible will be taken to task for a security lapse.

He said the investigation into the bomb blast will take note of loopholes.



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