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Gunmen Attack Hotel In Pakistan’s Gwadar, Kill 5



Gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, killing at least five people, officials said.

In a statement, Pakistan’s military said three armed men killed a security guard as they attempted to enter the Pearl Continental hotel In the southern city.

Local hospital officials say the death toll from the Gwadar attack has risen to at least five. “Five people were killed, and there were six wounded,” Abdul Latif, the chief of Gwadar’s main government hospital, told Al Jazeera by telephone.

He said those killed included security guards and some civilians.

All five bodies have been moved to Karachi, the country’s largest city, he said. One of the wounded remains in a critical condition, while the other five were “out of danger”, he said.

The military said that all guests at the hotel, which has 114 rooms, were safely evacuated. Nasir Ali, a local police official, said an operation to secure the site of the hotel was ongoing afternoon.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an ethnic Baloch separatist group fighting for independence for Balochistan province, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that four fighters were involved. 

“Our fighters have carried out this attack on Chinese and other foreign investors who were staying in PC hotel,” said Jihand Baloch, a BLA spokesperson, in a statement emailed to Al Jazeera.

Gwadar is the site of a major port built as the culmination of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a trade corridor that links southwestern China to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan.

The $60bn CPEC project has seen massive investment in infrastructure across Pakistan, including major roads and the Gwadar port in Balochistan province.

Recent days have seen an uptick in violence in the province, with ethnic Baloch separatist groups ramping up attacks against security forces and civilians.

On Thursday, at least five people were killed when BLA gunmen attacked a coal mine in the Harnai district of Balochistan.

The BLA and other armed groups have been fighting Pakistani security forces for more than a decade, demanding independence for the ethnic Baloch areas of Balochistan province, which they claim has been neglected by the Pakistani state and exploited for its mineral resources.



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