Bomb blast in hotel parking in Pakistan kills 4
A powerful bomb blast in the parking area of a luxury hotel in the restive southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta has killed at least four persons and injured 12 others, authorities have said, dismissing reports that a Chinese delegation was present in the building when the explosion occurred.
The blast took place in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in Quetta on Wednesday night. Several vehicles parked in the area caught fire after the blast. According to some initial reports, the hotel was hosting the Chinese ambassador.
Quetta is the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province.
Initial investigation has revealed the blast was caused when explosive material, fitted inside a car was detonated, said police.
According to the Bomb Disposal Unit, 40-50 kgs of explosives were used in the bomb. A fire brigade immediately arrived at the parking area to douse the flames. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and a cooling process is currently underway.
The powerful blast could be heard several kilometres away.
The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the blast. A spokesman for the TTP said, “Our suicide bomber used his explosive-filled car in the hotel.'' However, police said that the initial investigation revealed that the explosive device was planted in a car that was parked in the hotel's parking area.
Inspector General of Balochistan Muhammad Tahir Rai said that police were still gauging the intensity of the blast.
In response to a question, he said no ambassador or members of a foreign delegation were staying at the hotel when the blast occurred.
Rai said the experts in the police force were conducting their investigation, adding that they would soon make public the findings of the probe.
He said that there were no threat alerts before the attack.
''I have just met the Chinese ambassador and he is in high spirits,'' he said, adding that the investigation will ascertain the target.
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.
The Chinese ambassador had earlier in the day met provincial chief minister Jam Kamal Khan in the city, according to a tweet from Shahwani.
PTI SH/NSA AKJ NSA
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)