Explosives planted in vehicle parked outside: police
At least five people were killed and 12 others wounded in a blast at Quetta’s Serena Hotel Wednesday night, the Balochistan health authorities confirmed.
"The blast took place in the parking of Serena Hotel," Liaquat Shahwani, the Balochistan government spokesperson, told SAMAA TV.
Footage from the site showed cars ablaze and flames and plumes of smoke rising into the sky.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirmed the casualties in the blast. “We have taken this seriously,” he said. “It came at a time when the Chinese ambassador was staying at the hotel but it has been foiled.”
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Rescue teams reached the spot and moved the injured persons to hospitals. Among them, the doctors have declared two to be in critical condition.
A heavy contingent of security forces reached the site and secured a perimeter around it.
Three people killed in the attack have been identified as police officer Shujaat Abbasi, hotel security in charge Shahzaib Yousafzai, and private security guard Asadullah.
According to an initial report by the Bomb Disposal Squad, ball bearings and a highly sensitive flammable chemical, C4, were used in the blast. "Around 80 kilogramme to 90 kilogramme explosives were used and were brought inside the hotel in a car," the squad's spokesperson said.
On the other hand, the Balochistan police have obtained CCTV footage of the hotel's parking lot.
The hotel premises has been cordoned off and personnel of the Counter-Terrorism Department have been deployed to investigate the explosion.
Balochistan Inspector General Muhammad Tahir Rai told the media that neither the Chinese ambassador nor other members of any foreign delegation were staying at the hotel when the blast occurred.
The CTD and police have begun investigations into the blast and will ensure perpetrators are punished, he said.
The province's home minister, Ziaullah Langove, said that there was a "wave of terrorism" in the region. "Our own people are involved in these acts of terrorism."
Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the Quetta blast. According to reports, he was monitoring the entire condition till late at night.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the condemnable & cowardly terrorist attack in Quetta yesterday. Our nation has made great sacrifices in defeating terrorism & we will not to allow this scourge to rise again. We remain alert to all internal & external threats— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 22, 2021
He has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the matter from all aspects and reach the depth of the matter.
Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed has sought a report from the Balochistan Chief Secretary over the incident.
The story was originally published on April 21, 2021.