Gunmen battle security forces in 5-star hotel in Pakistan

Gunmen battle security forces in 5-star hotel in Pakistan

Kerry Wise
May 12, 2019

Four attackers armed with rifles and grenades have stormed a luxury hotel in the southwest Pakistani coastal city of Gwadar, triggering an hours-long shootout in which one hotel guard and all the assailants were killed.

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. "The attackers were surrounded by security forces in a staircase leading to the top floor of the building", the statement said.

An official told Reuters most guests had been evacuated from the hotel in Gwadar as of Saturday evening.

Reports say the terrorists may have rocket launchers and may be wearing suicide jackets.

Police and paramilitary troops cordoned off the hotel compound, Bangulzai added.

The Balochistan chief minister, Jam Kamal Khan, condemned the attack and ordered security forces to place a high priority on ensuring the safety of all guests at the hotel.

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"A clearance operation was going on", a spokesman of the army said.

The attack came three weeks after separatist gunmen targeting naval and security forces killed 14 people after forcing them off buses in Balochistan.

The Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel in Gwadar, is located on the Koh-e-Batil Hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour Road.

The Gwadar port region is the focal point of the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which is part of China's mammoth Belt and Road infrastructure project.

Pakistan's poorest and largest province, Balochistan has been rocked by separatist, Islamist and sectarian insurgencies for years.