Four assailants, one guard killed in hotel attack in Pakistani city of Gwadar

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Four insurgents armed with rifles and grenades attacked a luxury hotel in the southwestern coastal city of Gwadar on Saturday, triggering an intense, hours-long shootout in which one hotel guard and all the attackers were killed, officials said.

In a statement, the military said troops quickly responded to the attack on the Pearl Continental hotel and that all the guests were safely evacuated. The hotel guard was killed as the assailants opened fire with small arms.

A Baluch separatist group, the Baluch Liberation Army, claimed responsibility, saying its four fighters were involved. In a statement, the group released pictures of the attackers, who authorities say were killed in the ensuing gun battle.

“All four of the terrorists have been killed,” said a senior security official.

A second security official said troops had taken control of the area after killing the assailants. Both security officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said a search was still under way in the area.

The hotel is located near the port at Gwadar, which was built by Pakistan with China's help in recent years. Gwadar lies about 700 kilometers southwest of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

The region has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by separatists who demand a greater share of the province's natural gas and mineral resources.

The latest attack came weeks after Islamabad claimed that a group of militants crossed the border from neighboring Iran and killed 14 security officials when they were on their way to Gwadar in buses.

Pakistan at the time blamed a Baluch separatist group, Raji Aajoi Sangar, for the killings.

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