By Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, May 12 (PTI) At least eight persons, including four civilians, a Pakistan Navy soldier and three militants, were killed in Saturday's deadly attack on a luxury hotel in the port city of Gwadar in the restive Balochistan province, as the security forces cleared the building and defused explosive devices left behind by the attackers, the Pakistan Army said Sunday.
Three militants of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), armed with automatic weapons, stormed the Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel in Gwadar and opened random firing, killing a guard on Saturday. All three attackers were killed by the security forces.
China has built a deep-sea port in Gwadar, which is one of the focal points of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Beijing has invested over USD 50 billion to link the port city with the China's far-western Xinjiang region. Many Chinese and workers from other provinces of Pakistan are also employed at the port.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday condemned a deadly attack on the PC hotel, saying the terror strike was an effort to "sabotage" the country's economic projects and prosperity.
Pakistan Army spokesperson, in a statement, said the security forces have completed the clearance operation at the PC Gwadar, in which five persons and three attackers were killed.
"All three terrorists killed. Terrorists' bodies are held for identification. During operation five individuals, including four hotel employees and a Pakistan Navy soldier, died," the statement said.
Six individuals got injured which include two Army officials, two Pakistan Navy soldiers and two hotel employee.
Army said the terrorists had attempted entry into the hotel with an aim to target or take hostage the guests present there, but security guard at the entry challenged them and foiled the attempt of the militants to enter into the hotel's main hall. The terrorists went to the upper floors of the hotel through the staircase.
"Terrorists opened fire, resulting into martyrdom of security guard Zahoor while enroute to stairs, terrorists kept firing indiscriminately resulting into martyrdom of three more hotel employees - Farhad, Bilawal and Awais - while two others got injured," the Army said.
It further said that the Quick Reaction Forces of the Army, the Navy and the Police immediately reached the hotel and secured guests and staff present, and restricted the attackers within corridor of the fourth floor of the hotel.
After ensuring safe evacuation of guests and staff, the security forces launched a clearance operation against the terrorists, who made the CCTV cameras dysfunctional and planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at all the entry points leading to fourth floor, it said.
"The security forces made special entry points to get into the fourth floor, shot down all the terrorists and cleared planted IEDs,” the statement said, adding in exchange of fire a Pakistan Navy soldier, Abbas Khan, was killed while two Army Captains, two Pakistan Navy soldiers also got injured.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed the responsibility of the attack saying, the attack was carried out by four attackers.
The BLA said that the attackers were linked with the group's 'Majeed Brigade'. It said Chinese and other investors were in the hotel at the time of attack.
However, Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langov told media that no foreigner was in the hotel when the rebels launched the attack. PTI SH/CORR SMJ AKJ SMJ SMJ
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI