Pakistan hotel attack HIGHLIGHTS: All three gunmen killed in shootout, says Balochistan Home Ministerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/hotel-attack-live-updates-gwadar-balochistan-5723056/

Pakistan hotel attack HIGHLIGHTS: All three gunmen killed in shootout, says Balochistan Home Minister

As the militants tried to force their entry into the hotel, a guard positioned at the entrance confronted them following which the armed militants opened fire on him, resulting in his death, the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Pakistan attack, Pakistan hotel attack, Gwadar attack, Balochistan attack, Pear Continental Hotel, Pakistan news, Indian Express
Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan. The hotel came under attack as some armed militants on Saturday stormed its premises on Saturday evening. (Photo: ANI)

At least three heavily-armed terrorists stormed into a five-star hotel in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar on Saturday, Dawn reported. As the terrorists tried to force their entry into the hotel, a guard positioned at the entrance confronted them following which the armed militants opened fire on him, resulting in his death, the army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Reuters reported that the Balochistan Liberation Army has claimed the responsibility of the attack.

“At around 4:50 pm (local time) we got reports that there are three to four armed men in PC Hotel,” the Gwadar Station House Officer (SHO) Aslam Bangulzai was quoted as saying. ANI quoted authorities in Gwadar saying “majority of guests” taken out safely from Pearl Continental Hotel, while “armed militants” still holed up in one of the floors.

(This is a developing story; more details awaited)

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All three militants killed in shootout

All three militants have been eliminated in the gunbattle with the security forces, Balochistan Home Minister informed. 

Balochistan Chief Minister condemns attack

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned "the terrorists attack" on Pearl Continental Hotel, and instructed the authorities to "ensure the safety of all inside the hotel",  Dawn reported.

Balochistan Liberation Army claims responsibility for attack

Reuters reported that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the hotel attack.  BLA is a  militant group fighting for greater autonomy for the Balochistan region in southwestern Pakistan. There haven't been any reports about the number of casualties. The killing of the hotel guard is the only confirmed death so far. 

Hotel guard shot dead by militants

As the militants tried to force their entry into the hotel, a guard positioned at the entrance confronted them following which the armed militants opened fire on him, resulting in his death, the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Pakistani Navy, Army soldiers engaged in gunbattle with militants

Sources informed PTI  that Navy and Army soldiers are carrying out the operation at Gwadar's Pearl Continental Hotel. 

'95 per cent' of hotel occupants evacuated: Police

Dawn cited Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Hassan Butt who informed that "two to three gunmen had first fired at and then entered the hotel," adding that "95 per cent of the hotel has been evacuated."

Hotel premises cordoned off by security forces

Dawn reported that troops belonging to the Frontier Corps have cordoned off the hotel. Gunbattle still underway. 

Gwadar a strategic port city, vital part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor

Gwadar, which lies on the Arabian Sea, is a strategic port being developed as part of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of China's mammoth Belt and Road infrastructure project. The Pearl Continental Hotel, which is frequented by business and leisure travellers, is located on the Koh-e-Batil hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour road in Gwadar.

Hotel did not have foreigners at the time of attack: Police

Dawn cited Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Hassan Butt as informing that the hotel did not have any foreigners at the time of the attack and that only the hotel staff was inside. He also said that "95 per cent of the hotel has been evacuated."

Pakistan hotel attack LIVE: Armed militants storm 5-star hotel in Gwadar

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and poorest province. (Source: Google Maps)

The report claimed that firing is still underway at the Pearl Continental Hotel after 'three to four' armed militants forced their way into hotel's premises. There were no immediate reports of casualties, Reuters reported.

All foreign and local guests staying at the hotel have been safely evacuated, Express Tribune quoted Balochistan Information Minister Zahoor Buledi as saying. Frontier Corps personnel have cordoned off the hotel, Reuters reported quoting Dawn News.

The hotel, frequented by business and leisure travellers, is located on the Koh-e-Batil hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour road in Gwadar. On April 18, unidentified gunmen donning uniforms of paramilitary soldiers massacred at least 14 passengers, including Pakistan Navy personnel, after forcing them to disembark from buses on a highway in Balochistan.

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

China is investing heavily in Balochistan under the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).