A bomb exploded outside the luxury Serena Hotel in the city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least four people. A Chinese delegation, including the country’s ambassador, was staying at the hotel but wasn’t present at the time. More than a dozen others were hurt in the blast, officials said late Wednesday.
The blast took place at the car parking of the Hotel where the military has been fighting a decade-long low-level insurgency.
"A Chinese delegation of around four people led by the ambassador was lodging in the hotel. The ambassador was out for a meeting when the explosion took place," Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.
Upon receiving information, security forces immediately rushed to the spot and cordoned off the site of the blast.
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Hours after the attack, the Pakistani Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack. The Pakistani Taliban or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is a separate insurgent group from the Afghan Taliban.
Senior police official Azhar Akram said officers were trying to determine whether the bomb was planted in a vehicle that was parked in the hotel’s parking lot. He provided no further details, saying police were still investigating.
This accident comes after more than a week of violent anti-France protests led by an extremist party based in the eastern city of Lahore.