Terrorism of the worst kind was witnessed when a bomb that exploded proved fatal in Pakistan yesterday. This deadly incident occurred at a top hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in southwestern Pakistan that left at least four people dead and injuring a several others.
The explosion occurred in the parking lot of the Serena, a luxury hotel chain in Pakistan, in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where the military has been fighting a decade-long low-level insurgency.
“At least four people have been killed, and 12 others have been injured,” Pakistan’s interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, told AFP, calling it a “terrorist act.”
“The hotel was home to a Chinese delegation of about four people led by the ambassador.”
“The ambassador was out for a meeting at the time of the explosion,” he added. Balochistan is impoverished despite its natural resources, which infuriates residents who claim they do not receive a fair share of the gas and mineral wealth.
Resentment has been fueled by billions of dollars in Chinese money flowing into the region via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which locals claim has provided little benefit because most new jobs have gone to outsiders.
Azhar Ikram, a senior police official in the city, confirmed the fatalities and stated that the Chinese ambassador was staying at the hotel but was not present at the time of the explosion.
“Initial investigation indicates it was an IED planted in one of the vehicles,” Ikram said.
The attack was not immediately claimed by any group.
In 2019, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel overlooking a key CPEC project, the deep-water seaport in Gwadar, which provides China with strategic access to the Arabian Sea, killing at least eight people.
In June, Baloch insurgents attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange, which is partly owned by Chinese firms. The Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for all of the attacks.
It follows more than a week of violent anti-France protests led by an extremist party based in Lahore, Pakistan’s easternmost city.