A powerful bomb exploded in the parking lot of a hotel in Pakistan’s Quetta on Wednesday night, killing at least five people and wounding 12, Dawn reported, quoting officials
A powerful bomb exploded in the parking lot of a hotel in Pakistan’s Quetta on Wednesday night, killing at least five people and wounding 12, Dawn reported, quoting officials.
DIG Azhar Ikram said that the explosive device was apparently fitted in a vehicle, according to initial investigations. He added that a police official was among the deceased.
Security, fire and rescue officials were rushing to the Serena Hotel and no one was being allowed to go near the site of the blast, which took place at around 10:15pm.
According to the bomb disposal squad, between 80kg to 90kg of explosive material was used. The team added that ball bearings and C4 explosive material was used in the blast.
Addressing a press conference, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove said there was a wave of terrorism in the region. "Our own people are involved in these acts of terrorism," he said, adding that there were no threat alerts before the attack.
Addressing media reports about the Chinese ambassador being the apparent target of the attack, Langove said the ambassador was not present at the hotel when the explosion occurred.
"I have just met the Chinese ambassador and he is in high spirits," he said, adding that the investigation will ascertain the target, Dawn reported.
Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said the incident was being investigated from all angles. "Those involved will not be able to escape the grip of the law," he tweeted.
Shahwani called the bombing an act of terrorism without elaborating. “Enemies of Pakistan are behind today’s attack,” he said.
Earlier, Quetta Deputy Commissioner Aurangzeb Badini had confirmed on Twitter that four people had died and a dozen injured in the explosion.
Quetta Civil Hospital Medical Superintendent Arbab Kamran Kasi had also confirmed the four casualties, saying two people were in critical condition.
Balochistan Inspector General of Police Tahir Rai told Dawn.com that the explosion occurred in the parking lot of Serena Hotel.
He added that the hotel premises had been cordoned off and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had been deployed to investigate the incident.
"The Quetta Serena Hotel is the only four-star deluxe hotel in the city of Quetta," according to the hotel's website. It is located on the Shahrah-e-Zarghun Road.
Footage shared from the scene showed burning cars, with huge flames and plumes of smoke rising into the sky.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the incident, calling it a "cowardly terrorist attack".
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the interior ministry was in close contact with the Balochistan government and that initial investigation was underway.
The incident comes a week after 12 people were injured in an explosion during a football tournament being held at a ground in Allahbad Town located in Balochistan's