Three heavily-armed militants on Saturday stormed a luxury hotel in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar in the restive Balochistan province, leading to a fierce gunbattle in which four persons, including the attackers were killed, the police said.
The armed men entered the upscale Pearl Continental Hotel and opened random firing, a senior police official said.
They shot dead a guard at the entrance, the Army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said.
A shootout between the militants and the security forces broke out at the hotel as the anti-terrorism force, the Army and the Frontier Corps were called in, Gwadar station house officer Aslam Bangulzai said.
Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langov said that all the three attackers were killed by the security forces.
He said that some of the
guests in the hotel were also injured but their number was not immediately known.
The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility of the attack which it said was carried out by the militants linked with its Majeed Brigade group.
Locals said several gunshots were heard after the terrorists entered the luxury hotel.
Gwadar port is one of the focal points of the US $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with many Chinese workers from other provinces of Pakistan working at the port.
The hotel, frequented by business as well as leisure travellers, is located on the Koh-e-Batil hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour road in Gwadar.
All foreign and local guests staying at the hotel had been safely evacuated, ‘Express Tribune’ quoted Balochistan Information Minister Zahoor Buledi as saying.
“At around 4:50 pm (local time) we got reports that there are two to three armed men in PC Hotel,” SHO Bangulzai said.
“Two to three gunmen had first fired at and then entered the hotel,” inspector-general of police Mohsin Hassan Butt said.
“A clearance operation was going on,” a spokesman of the Army said.
The provincial police chief further said, “The attackers may have come in a boat to launch the attack.”
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned “the terrorists attack” on PC Hotel, and instructed the authorities to “ensure the safety of all inside the hotel”, Dawn news reported.