Gunmen attack luxury hotel in Pakistan

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The Pearl Continental Hotel is popular among foreign visitors

The Pearl Continental Hotel is popular among foreign visitors

Three gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan, killing at least one person, officials say.

The attack targeted the Zaver Pearl-Continental Hotel in the strategic port city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion-dollar Chinese project.

A hotel spokesman said there were no guests and few staff due to Ramadan.

The separatist Balochistan Liberation Army said it had carried out the attack to target Chinese and other investors.

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Militants in Balochistan oppose Chinese investment, saying it is of little benefit to local people.

What do we know about the attack?

The gunmen stormed the hotel, usually popular with top government officials and foreign visitors, at around 16:50 local time (11:50 GMT), killing one security guard who tried to stop them at the entrance.

Security forces entered the hotel and took part in a gun battle with the militants.

Due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the hotel had no guests and a very limited number of staff, a Zaver Pearl-Continental spokesperson told the BBC.

However, earlier reports said that hotel guests had been evacuated safely.

The hotel sits on a hilltop overlooking the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, which is being developed by China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the two countries.

The attack comes just weeks after gunmen killed 14 people, including 11 military personnel, in the region.

BBC