Gwadar hotel cleared after deadly insurgent attack kills 5

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Pakistan Defence Command said "three to five terrorists" were firing from the first floor of the Pearl Continent Hotel, located in Gwadar Port.

An official of Pakistan Navy was martyred and four employees of the hotel have also lost their lives in the operation.

The attackers who reportedly had rocket launchers were killed by the security forces during the operation while all hotel visitors were safely evacuated. Balochistan is also host to a number of major projects under the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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Gwadar features prominently in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor plan linking Gwadar, a deep-sea port, with Xinjiang Province in western China.

Several militant groups operate in the region, including the Pakistani Taliban, the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Sunni Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Security forces on Sunday completed the clearance operation at Pearl Continental hotel Gwadar.

The BLA also released a picture of four people clad in security forces uniform, claiming them as the miscreants who attacked the hotel.

The military said the attackers disabled closed-circuit TV cameras in the hotel and planted explosives at all access points leading to the top floor.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the attack had been an attempt to "sabotage prosperity" in Balochistan.

A Pakistan Hotel Attack by terrorists is now underway at the Pearl Continent Hotel in Pakistan's Gwadar port city. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. "We shall not allow these agendas to succeed".

"The boom of guns and blasts pierced the silence of the night between Saturday and Sunday, persisting till early morning", Abdul Rahim Baloch, a resident of Gwadar, told Dawn.

Islamabad alleged the attackers had come from hideouts in border areas of Iran and demanded the neighboring country take action against them.

The BLA is one of the most-organised terrorist group of Baloch nationalists fighting against security forces. The banned BLA has targeted Chinese workers in Pakistan multiple times, including during a brazen daylight attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi which killed four people in November a year ago.

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

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