(QUETTA, Pakistan.) JUST IN: Balochistan militants claim responsibility for the attack on the “ Pear l Continental Hotel “ in Gwadar port on Saturday that killed at least one security guard and a numbe r of others were injured a spokesman said in an emailed statement #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – May.11: The Balochistan Liberation Army, a militant group fighting for greater autonomy for the Balochistan region in southwestern Pakistan, claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on a hotel in Gwadar port, a spokesman said in an emailed statement Reuters https://t.me/reuters_news/82900

Three gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Pakistan’s southwestern port city of Gwadar on Saturday, killing at least one guard and battling security forces inside, officials and the army said: Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said most guests had been evacuated from the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, which helicopters circled as fighting was underway. He said there were reports of casualties, but did not give details.

The military said three gunmen killed a guard at the entrance to the hotel when they entered. Security forces had cordoned off the area and cornered the attackers in a staircase leading to the top floor, the military said in its statement: Balochistan Liberation Army, a group fighting for greater autonomy in Pakistan’s poorest province, claimed responsibility in an emailed statement.

Gwadar is a strategic port on the Arabian Sea that is being developed as part of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China’s mammoth Belt and Road infrastructure project:

The hotel, located on a hillside near the port, is used by foreign guests, including Chinese project staff, but there were none in the building at the time of the attack, Langove said: Pakistani officials have said the security forces were on alert for attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began in early May.

The province is rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies, with several militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban group Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Balochistan Liberation Army and the Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi:

Saturday’s incident follows a bombing this week that targeted police outside a major Sufi shrine in Lahore, in the north of Pakistan, that killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 20, officials said.

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Reuters.Com/ Published: May.11: 2019: Reporting by Gul Yousafzai; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Edmund Blair

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