Blast on Quetta's Jinnah Road leaves three dead, eleven injured

PAK HOTEL BLAST

An explosion took place late Wednesday night on Quetta's Jinnah Road, leaving four people dead and twelve others injured, according to initial reports. Quetta is the capital of the mineral-rich southwestern Balochistan province bordering Iran and Afghanistan, which has always been the scene of a low-level insurgency by local nationalists, who want more of a share in the regional resources.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the Serena hotel blast. He provided no further details, saying police were still investigating.

Security forces were rushing to the hotel and no one was being allowed to go near the site of the blast.

"Our officers are working to determine whether it was a bomb and what type of device it could be", Malik said.

Experts believe the Serena Hotel attack highlights the ongoing threat to Chinese interests in Balochistan. They have for decades staged attacks to press their demands for independence.

China's ambassador to Pakistan was staying at the hotel, but was not there when the bomb exploded, said Pakistan's interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.

In May 2017, a Chinese couple was kidnapped from Quetta by so-called Islamic State and later killed in Mastung, a town in the same province.

"A vehicle that was full of explosives exploded in the hotel", Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told local ARY News TV.

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The provincial police chief reached the blast site.

Liaquat Shahwani, a provincial government spokesman, called the attack an act of terrorism.

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

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal has condemned the blast and summoned a report from authorities concerned.

One person out of four was identified as Asadullah Khan while three other who were killed in the blast were not identified.

An official at a local civil hospital, Waseem Baig, said four people had died, and 'several others are in critical condition'.

The hotel is frequented by foreigners as it is the city's only luxury hotel and is considered safe.

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

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