The death toll after a bomb explosion at a luxury hotel in Quetta has risen to five, hospital sources confirmed on Thursday, adding that, ‘the injured are in critical condition.’
The deceased were identified as Shujaat Abbasi (policeman), Asad ullah (hotel security guard), Shahzaib (shift manager), Aimal Kasi (forest department employee) and Naseebullah.
Two assistant commissioners are said to be among the injured.
According to the police, the explosive material was planted in a parked vehicle. The explosion occurred in the parking area of a hotel located near the Serena Chowk. The deadly blast in Quetta city also destroyed several vehicles with broken glass and pieces of metal seen strewn at the site in the footages aired on media.
According to Bomb Disposal Unit, 40-50 kilograms of explosives were used in the bomb. The blast, owing to its intensity, could be heard several kilometers away.
IG Balochistan Muhammad Tahir Rai while speaking to media, said that the experts in the police force are conducting their investigation.
He said that the experts would soon make public the findings of the probe, adding that the blast had damaged up to vehicles in the parking area.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan was lodged in at the hotel, but not present there at the time of the blast. The ambassador is safe.
Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani condemn the incident. He said an investigation was being carried out and the culprits will not be able to escape the law. Adding that the primary responsibility of security rested with the hotel.
‘The hotel had its own scanners through which guests were inspected thoroughly and that vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot also had to pass through barricades, before they were checked for any explosive item.’ Balochistan government spokesperson said.
Casualties may rise
Health officials fear a rise in casualties as the condition of several injured was stated to be critical.