At least four people have been killed and 12 wounded in a powerful explosion in the parking area of an upscale hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, according to health authorities. Hotel officials said that some employees of the hotel were missing. Footage on Pakistan news channels showed burning cars.
"It was a suicide attack in which our suicide bomber used his explosives-filled vehicle in the hotel", the group told Reuters in a text message.
Hours after Wednesday's attack, the Pakistani Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack. At least 11 persons injured in the blast are still under treatment at the Civil Hospital Quetta.
A heavy contingent of security forces reached the site and secured a perimeter around it.More news: Family: 15-year-old girl shot, killed by police in Columbus, Ohio
Sharing further details on the law and order situation in the country, he said that there were threats for such an attack in Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
No group immediately claimed the attack. Other security officials said the bomb exploded minutes after a vehicle entered the parking lot, and authorities were investigating to determine whether it was a suicide attack.
Four people were reported to have been killed, including two security guards, and a dozen more were said to have been injured.
According to the Dawn newspaper, the explosion took place in a parking space of the Serena Hotel in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, at around 10.30 p.m. (17:30 GMT). Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told AFP that a Chinese delegation led by the ambassador was lodging in the hotel.More news: Oxygen runs low in India as hospitals battle virus 'storm'
Speaking exclusively with ARY News, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed condemned the attack and ordered a high-level investigation into the incident.
Jam Kamal Khan, chief minister in Baluchistan, took to Twitter to condemn the bombing.
The federal minister added that India does not want peace in Pakistan, but their attempt to damage Pakistan will fail.More news: Oxford researchers launch human challenge trial to study Covid reinfection