Five dead, six injured at luxury hotel attack in Pakistan’s Gwadar

Five dead, six injured at luxury hotel attack in Pakistan’s Gwadar
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A general view of signs along a highway leading to Gwadar, Pakistan, April 12, 2017 (REUTERS)
Five dead, six injured at luxury hotel attack in Pakistan’s Gwadar
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This picture taken on March 8, 2019 shows a general view of the five-star Pearl Continental hotel located on a hill in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, where gunmen stormed the building. At least one person has been killed after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said on May 11. (AFP)
Updated 13 May 2019

Five dead, six injured at luxury hotel attack in Pakistan’s Gwadar

Five dead, six injured at luxury hotel attack in Pakistan’s Gwadar
  • Four hotel employees, one Navy soldier killed when gunmen opened fire
  • Militants had planted IED’s and tampered with security cameras

ISLAMABAD: Five people, including four hotel employees and one Pakistan Navy soldier, were killed and six injured when three armed assailants opened fire at a luxury hotel in Pakistan’s southwestern port city of Gwadar on Saturday, according to the media wing of the Pakistan army.
Gwadar is a strategic port on the Arabian Sea that is considered the crown jewel of the $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
According to the statement by the Pakistan army, “Terrorists had attempted entry into the hotel aimed at targeting... taking hostage the guests present in hotel.”
All three assailants were killed in a ‘clearance operation’ on the hotel’s fourth floor and prior to the operation, the gunmen had planted improvised explosive devices at entry points leading to the floor, as well as tampered with the hotel’s CCTV cameras, the statement said. Their bodies are being held for identification.
A Twitter post by what claimed to be the official account of separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), claimed responsibility immediately following the attack.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack in a statement late Saturday night, and praised the quick response of the hotel’s security guards and security forces.
“Such attempts especially in Balochistan are an effort to sabotage our economic projects and prosperity,” he said and added, “We shall not allow these agendas to succeed.”
The hotel, the Zaver Pearl Continental, is frequently used by top government officials and Chinese workers employed on a port project in the area.
The Chinese embassy in Islamabad strongly condemned the attack and praised the “heroic action” of the Pakistan army.
The victims who died in the attack following “indiscriminate firing” were named in the army statement as hotel employees Zahoor, Farhad, Bilawal and Awais and a navy soldier, Abbas Khan, who fell in an exchange of fire.
Separatist groups have for decades fought a low-level insurgency against the government in the province, claiming that Balochistan’s gas and mineral resources are unfairly distributed by richer provinces. The groups also oppose Chinese projects in the area.
In February, gunmen attacked a Pakistani security post in Balochistan killing four paramilitary soldiers.
Saturday’s incident follows a bombing this week that targeted police outside a major Sufi shrine in the eastern city of Lahore, where at least twelve people were killed.