Four killed, 12 injured in blast at Quetta’s Serena Hotel

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At least four people were killed and a dozen others wounded when a bomb exploded at a top hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in southwestern Pakistan, officials said late yesterday.

Footage from the site showed cars ablaze and flames and plumes of smoke rising into the sky. It is reported that security forces have cordoned off the area surrounding the site of the blast.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the Serena hotel blast.

The blast took place in the auto park of the Serena - a luxury hotel chain throughout Pakistan - in the city of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province where the military has been fighting a decade-long low level insurgency. Police said responders took victims to nearby hospitals. At least 11 persons injured in the blast are still under treatment at the Civil Hospital Quetta.

It was not clear whether the envoy or members of his delegation were a target of the attack, but Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked before by Taliban militants and nationalist insurgents.

"Our officers are working to determine whether it was a bomb and what type of device it could be", Malik said.

The hotel is in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province that has always been the scene of low-level insurgency from local nationalists.

Wasim Beg, a spokesperson at the provincial health department, said four people died and 12 were wounded in the bombing.

Speaking exclusively with ARY News, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed condemned the attack and ordered a high-level investigation into the incident. "Terrorists want to disrupt peace in Baluchistan".

Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong had earlier in the day met provincial Chief Minister Jam Kamal in the city.

Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, who was staying at the same hotel, was not present at the time of the blast. Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said authorities were investigating and a statement would be issued later.