Quetta [Balochistan], April 23 (ANI): The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a deadly bomb blast at a luxury hotel, Quetta's Serena Hotel, hosting the Chinese ambassador in the southwest of the country, as officials raised the death toll to four and 12 others injured.
"A Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan suicide bomber targeted police and senior government officials in a high-security area," read the TTP statement, though police have said that initial investigations show the explosives were planted in a car and were detonated remotely, reported Newsweek.
"Our own people are involved in these acts of terrorism," Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove told a press conference after the explosion, lamenting that there was a renewed wave of terrorism sweeping the region. To a question, he clarified there had been no threat alerts before the attack.
To another question on reports of the bombing targeting the Chinese ambassador, who was in Quetta, Langove said the envoy had not been present at the hotel at the time of the explosion. "I have just met the Chinese ambassador and he is in high spirits," he said, adding that police would investigate the target of the bombing, reported Newsweek.
The Bomb Disposal Unit has said that 40-50 kg of explosives were used in the blast, which produced a deafening sound that was heard by people located several kilometers away.
Several vehicles parked nearby caught on fire, which was extinguished by firefighters who reached the area shortly after the blast. Two assistant commissioners are among the injured, and one police official is among the deceased, according to police.
The latest attack continues a steady uptick in violence across Balochistan over the past year. Last week, 12 people were injured in an explosion at a football tournament in Hub that was dedicated to the memory of killed police officials.
Last October, seven soldiers of the Frontier Corps and seven security guards were shot dead during a clash with a large group of terrorists on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara. In August 2020, eight people, including police and FC personnel, were injured in a blast in Hub, reported Newsweek. (ANI)