Blast in Serena Hotel Quetta

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A car bomb blast outside a luxury hotel where the Chinese ambassador was reportedly staying in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta has killed four people and injured 12, according to local authorities.

Quetta is the capital of the province of Balochistan, near the Afghan border. The province has seen a decades-long insurgency by separatists who demand independence from Pakistan, citing what they say is the state’s monopoly and exploitation of the province’s mineral resources.
The explosion outside the Serena Hotel took place late Wednesday night local time and rescue and security services are carrying out investigations into the incident, Muhammad Akram, a rescue official at the scene of the blast, said.
The Serena Hotel is considered the most secure hotel in Quetta and is typically where international development teams and diplomats choose to stay while visiting.
“This incident occurred after Iftar (breaking of fast). The car was parked in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel,” said Balochistan provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Lango, according to Reuters. “One of our police constables is among the injured.”

 

Balochistan’s provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Lango told reporters that Mr Nong was “in high spirits” and that his visit to Quetta would conclude on Thursday.

 

One of Pakistan’s poorest provinces, Balochistan is home to several armed groups, including Islamic extremists and separatists.

 

Militants want independence from the rest of Pakistan, and oppose major Chinese infrastructure projects in the area.

 

The separatists were also blamed for an attack two years ago on a hotel at Gwadar, a port project funded by China.

 

They accuse the government and China of exploiting Balochistan’s gas and mineral wealth, and strategic position with little benefit to local people.