Deadly Bomb Blast At Luxury Hotel In Southwestern Pakistan
April 21, 2021
Pakistani officials say a bomb went off in the parking area of a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least three people and wounding nine others.
Several cars parked in front of the Serena Hotel caught fire after the April 21 bombing, police official Mohamed Munir said.
Some of those wounded were said to be in critical condition.
The Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) group, known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it sought to target officials.
A Chinese delegation led by the ambassador was staying at the Serena Hotel, located next to the Iranian Consulate and the provincial governor's house, but the envoy was not present at the time of the blast, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said.
Chinese officials did not immediately comment.
Quetta is the capital of resource-rich Balochistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran. The region has been plagued by sectarian violence, attacks by Islamist militants, and a separatist insurgency that has caused thousands of casualties since 2004.
Resentment there has been fueled by Chinese money flowing into the province through the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project -- a key part of China's Belt and Road Initiative -- which locals say gave them little benefit.
Provincial government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani called the April 21 bombing an act of terrorism.
"Enemies of Pakistan are behind today's attack," he said, without elaborating.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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