Conflicts & War

Bombing at luxurious Pakistan hotel kills at least 5

Islamabad, Apr 22 (EFE).- At least five people were killed and 15 wounded when a powerful car bomb exploded in the parking area of a luxurious hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in southwestern Pakistan.

The bombing took place shortly before the arrival of the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, at Hotel Serena in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta Wednesday night.

Quetta police spokesperson Asad Khan told EFE Thursday that the Chinese ambassador was an apparent target of the attack.

“The bomb went off before he (the ambassador) arrived. So he was stopped (from) going there, Khan said.

“It was a powerful blast. Around 40 to 50 kg of explosives were used in the blast,” said the police spokesperson.

The heavily guarded hotel is a popular destination for Pakistani authorities, diplomats, and businesspersons to stay when they travel to the troubled Pakistani city of Quetta.

Quetta is the capital of the resource-rich but restive province of Balochistan.

Several armed groups are fighting a decades-old separatist war in the largely under-developed province with massive coal and gas reservoirs taken by foreign investors.

It is not the first time that an attack has targeted China on Pakistani soil.

In 2018, a group of gunmen attacked the Chinese consulate in the southern city of Karachi.

In May 2019, an attack on the Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar, in Balochistan, killed four civilians and three attackers.

Police claimed that the attack targeted Chinese and foreign investors.

China has a widespread presence in Pakistan due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, an ambitious infrastructure project financed by Beijing with a $60,000-million investment.

The CPEC, launched in 2015, finances the construction of a trade route that will connect Kashgar in the northwest Chinese Xinjiang province with the Pakistani port of Gwadar that provides China a gateway to the Arabian sea. EFE


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