May 23, 2019
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Pakistan luxury hotel gunmen kill at least 8, wound 6

Islamabad, May 12 (efe-epa) .- The death toll of an attack on a Pakistani luxury hotel in the southeastern Balochistan province has risen to eight which includes four civilians, one soldier and three terrorists, whilst six others were wounded, authorities said in a statement Sunday.

"Security Forces have completed clearance operation at PC Gwadar. All 3 terrorists killed. Terrorists bodies are held for identification," the Pakistani Army's communication office (ISPR) said in a statement.

"During operation 5 individuals got Shaheed including 4 hotel employees and a Pakistan Navy soldier. 6 individuals got injured including 2 Army Captains, 2 Pakistan Navy soldiers and 2 hotel employee," the statement added.

According to authorities, the terrorists, which were members of a separatist group, stormed the hotel located in the coastal city of Gwadar at 4:45 local time (11.45 GMT) with the intention of taking hostages, but they were challenged by the hotel's security guards.

Staff raised the alarm "denying them entry into main hall and terrorists went to staircase leading to upper floors," he ISPR continued

The armed men "kept firing indiscriminately" and killed four hotel employees.

According to the ISPR, the gunmen were forcefully barricaded in a corridor on the fourth floor by the swift arrival of Pakistani armed forces.

Army and navy officers proceeded to evacuate residents of the hotel and staff, the statement added.

"Meanwhile terrorists had made CCTV cameras dysfunctional and planted IEDs on all entry points leading to 4th floor," the ISPR said.

"Security Forces made special entry points to get into 4th floor, shot down all terrorists and cleared planted IEDS," authorities added. "In exchange of fire Pak Navy soldier Abbas Khan embraced Shahadat while 2 Army Captains, 2 Pakistan Navy soldiers got injured."

The Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist group fighting for the independence of the Baloch province, claimed responsibility for the attack aimed at Chinese and foreign investors.

The same group claimed an attack against a Chinese consulate in the port city of Karachi, in southern Pakistan, which resulted in the death of the three assailants on Nov. 23, 2018.

China has a large presence in Pakistani territory due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC), a multimillion-dollar infrastructure project financed by Beijing with an investment of 60,000 million dollars.

The CPEC, launched in 2015, finances the construction of a commercial route that will connect the northwest Chinese province of Xinjiang with the Pakistani port of Gwadar, the city where the Saturday attack took place. EFE-EPA

am-daa/ch

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