Chinese ambassador escapes bombing at Pakistan hotel
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong was out for a meeting when the explosion took place.
CAPE TOWN, April 22 (ANA) – A bomb was detonated, apparently by a suicide bomber, at the luxury Serena Hotel in south-western Pakistan, killing at least four people and injuring a dozen more late on Wednesday night.
Rescue and security services are investigating the incident, Muhammad Akram, a rescue official, told CNN.
CNN footage from the scene shows vehicles ablaze in the hotel parking lot and thick smoke billowing.
“At least four people have been killed and 12 others were injured,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told AFP.
The Serena Hotel is considered one of the safest hotels in Quetta and is often frequented by diplomats.
“A Chinese delegation of around four people led by the ambassador was lodging in the hotel… The ambassador (Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong) was out for a meeting when the explosion took place,” Ahmed said.
According to senior police official Azhar Akram, officers were attempting to determine whether the bomb was planted in a car in the hotel’s parking lot.
Other security sources said the blast went off seconds after a car pulled into the parking lot.
According to CNN, the Pakistani Taliban, Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a terrorist group based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Separatists have waged a decades-long rebellion in the region, demanding independence from Pakistan.
According to Associated Press, Pakistan has almost finished building a fence along its border with Afghanistan, which Islamabad claims is important to protect both sides from militant attacks.
The bombing in Quetta occurred just hours after Pakistan and Iran opened a new border crossing point in Baluchistan to strengthen trade, economic ties and bilateral co-operation.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher
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