Deadly car bombing in Pakistan targets hotels hosted by Chinese ambassador

A car bomb had exploded at an Iraqi police recruiting center at Kisak, west of Pakistan, killing at least four people and wounding 11 others, officials said.

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

The province’s interior minister, Ziaullah Lango, said the envoy was good.

“An explosion shook the parking lot of the Serena Hotel,” police official Nasir Malik told Reuters, saying 11 people had been injured. An official at a local civilian hospital, Waseem Baig, said four people had died and “several others are in critical condition.”

“A car full of explosives exploded at the hotel,” Ahmad told local ARY News TV.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.

“It was a suicide attack where our suicide bomber used his explosive car at the hotel,” a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) wrote in a text message to a Reuters reporter.

Earlier in the day, Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong had met with provincial chief Jam Kamal in the city, according to a tweet from provincial government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani.

Lango told reporters: “I just met him. He is in a high mood ”and added that the envoy would complete his visit to Quetta on Thursday.

The Chinese embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

The well-fortified hotel is located next to the Iranian consulate and the provincial parliament building. Quetta is the capital of the mineral-rich southwestern province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, which has long been the scene of a low revolt by local nationalists, who want more of their regional resources.

The province is home to the recently expanded Gwadar Deep Sea Port, which is the key to a planned $ 65 billion investment in China’s economic belt belt and road initiatives.

It was not clear if the envoy or members of his delegation were a target for the attack, but Chinese citizens and their interests in the region have previously been attacked by Taliban militants and nationalist insurgents.

(REUTERS)