QUETTA: Security personnel and volunteers arrive at the site of the explosion.—AFP
QUETTA: Security personnel and volunteers arrive at the site of the explosion.—AFP

QUETTA: At least four people, including two private security guards, were killed and 12 others suffered injuries in a bomb blast that occurred in the parking lot of Serena Hotel here on Wednesday night.

The injured include two assistant commissioners who were immediately shifted to the civil hospital with other wounded people. Hotel officials said all guests staying in the hotel were safe. However, they added, some employees of the hotel were missing.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the blast as its spokesman said: “Our suicide bomber used his explosive-laden car for the blast.”

Police said initial investigation revealed that an explosive device was planted in a car which was parked in the hotel’s parking area.

Taliban claim their suicide bomber carried out the attack

After the explosion, several vehicles caught fire and at least seven cars were gutted. Windowpanes of the nearby Balochistan Assembly, Balochistan High Court and other buildings were smashed due to the impact of the blast.

Fire brigade immediately reached the hotel and brought the fire under control after an hour of effort.

Addressing media reports about the Chinese ambassador being the apparent target of the attack, home minister Ziaullah Langove said that the ambassador was not present at the hotel when the explosion occurred.

“I have just met the Chinese ambassador and he is in high spirits,” he said, adding that investigation would ascertain the target.

Talking to journalists, Deputy Inspector General of Quetta police said: “We are investigating the nature of the blast. The Bomb Disposal Squad and Counter-Terrorism Department have sealed the site of the blast for investigation and are collecting evidences.”

One of the dead was identified as Asadullah Khan.

The injured included Ejaz Ahmed, Bilal Shabbir, Attaullah, Raja Tahir, Irfan Ahmed, Abdul Hameed, Mohammad Noor, Wazir Ahmed, Bilal Qadir, Khuda Bakhsh and Muzamil Khan.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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