Officials said at least four gunmen raided the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel on Saturday (May 11) afternoon, but police declined to say if any of the attackers had been captured or killed. Senior police official Rao Munir Ahmed Zia told Reuters three of the hotel’s four floors had been cleared and security forces were searching the top floor some 20 hours after the attack began. At least three security guards and two hotel personnel were killed and four wounded as the attackers battled members of the security forces. Soldiers cornered the attackers in a staircase leading to the top floor, the military said.
Pakistani network ARY ran footage of the hotel they said was filmed on Saturday soon after the attack began. The video which cannot be independently verified, also shows people gathered at a nearby checkpost.
The Balochistan Liberation Army insurgent group, which says it is fighting what it sees as the unfair exploitation of the province’s natural resources, claimed responsibility saying in a statement the attack was aimed at “Chinese and other foreign investors”. Gwadar is a strategic port on the Arabian Sea that is being developed as part of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
(Production: Shahab Shahabuddin)