Pakistan PM Imran Khan orders in-depth investigation into Quetta hotel blast

Pakistan blast quetta
Rescue workers and police officers arrive after an explosion at a luxury hotel in Quetta, Pakistan April 21, 2021.
Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday ordered an in-depth investigation into the bomb explosion in the parking lot of a four-star hotel in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The attack killed at least 5 people including one police officer and wounded 12, officials said.

Strongly condemning the terror attack, the prime minister ordered the Interior Ministry to consider all aspects while carrying out the investigation.

Khan said that he was “deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the condemnable and cowardly terrorist attack” that took place in the month of Ramadan. “Our nation has made great sacrifices in defeating terrorism and we will not allow this scourge to rise again” he vowed, adding that the government remains alert to all internal and external threats.

President Dr Arif Alvi said the “enemies of the nation” wanted to create unrest through their nefarious designs in Ramadan and vowed not to let such cowardly incidents disturb the peace of the country. The president prayed for the departed souls and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families.

DIG Quetta Azhar Akram said the initial investigation suggests that the attackers used a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) driven by a suicide bomber. The vehicle blew up in the car park of Quetta’s Serena Hotel on Wednesday night. Two government officials were also among the 12 injured. Images and videos shared by people on social media showed fire raging at the compound. The blast damaged a number of vehicles parked inside the hotel and shattered the windows in nearby buildings. All the guests inside the hotel remained safe.

Officials confirmed that a Chinese delegation was staying in the hotel but clarified that Chinese ambassador Nong Rong was not at the hotel when the explosion took place. Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langau said that Nong was “in high spirits” and that his visit would conclude on Thursday.

Balochistan government said the attack is being thoroughly investigated and perpetrators would not escape the law. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad described the attack as “an act of terrorism”. He warned that there were more threats by terrorists in major cities, according to state-run media.

Foreign officials and diplomats in Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the terrorist attack.