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Explosion hits luxury hotel in southwest Pakistan where China's ambassador is staying

Published: Updated:

An explosion at a luxury hotel killed three people and wounded 11 in southwest Pakistan on Wednesday, police said.

China’s ambassador was staying at a hotel in southwest Pakistan that was bombed on Wednesday, but was not present when it was hit, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said.

“This was a big blast and the Chinese ambassador was also staying at this hotel, but he wasn’t there at the time; he was out at a function,” the minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, told local TV channel ARY News.

The Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

“An explosion has rocked the parking area of Serena hotel,” police official Nasir Malik told Reuters.

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It was unclear who was behind the bombing at Serena Hotel. Police said rescuers were transporting the victims to nearby hospitals. Footage on Pakistan news channels showed burning cars.

Southwestern Baluchistan province is the scene of a long-running insurgency by secessionist groups like the Baluchistan Liberation Front and the Baluchistan Liberation Army. They have for decades staged attacks to press their demands for independence. The Pakistani Taliban also have a presence there.

Security forces were rushing to the hotel and no one was being allowed to go near the site of the blast. According to senior police official Azhar Akram, some of the wounded were listed in critical condition. He provided no further details, saying police were still investigating.

Arbab Akram, a doctor at Quetta’s main hospital, said the wounded were being brought their and they declared an emergency at the hospital to handle victims.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province.

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