Gunmen attack hotel in Pakistani port city of Gwadar | World Defense

Gunmen attack hotel in Pakistani port city of Gwadar

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Gunmen attack hotel in Pakistani port city of Gwadar
Gunmen storm luxury hotel in Pakistan port city of Gwadar
Published: May 11, 2019 17:45Reuters

Pearl Continental hotel

File photo: A general view of the five-star Pearl Continental hotel located on a hill in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, where gunmen stormed the building.Image Credit: AFP

HIGHLIGHTS
  • At least one person has been killed on Saturday after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in Gwadar, southwestern Pakistani.
  • The city is centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project.
  • The gunmen shot dead a security guard at the entrance to the hotel.
  • A military spokesperson said security forces have cordoned area, guests safely evacuated, and the terrorists encircled by security forces in staircase leading to top floor
ISLAMABAD: At least one person has been killed after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said Saturday.

The gunmen shot dead a security guard at the entrance to the hotel.

"Security forces have cordoned area. Guests safely evacuated. Terrorists encircled by security forces in staircase leading to top floor. Clearance Operation in progress," a military spokesman said.
Gwadar_092

The attackers appeared to have reached the first floor of the hotel.Image Credit: Google maps
Gunmen storm luxury hotel in Pakistan port city of Gwadar ISLAMABAD, May 11, 2019 (AFP) -


At least one person has been killed after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said Saturday. The gunmen shot dead a security guard at the entrance to the hotel. "Security forces have cordoned area. Guests safely evacuated. Terrorists encircled by security forces in staircase leading to top floor. Clearance Operation in progress," a military spokesman said.

ISLAMABAD, May 11, 2019 (AFP) - At least one person has been killed after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said Saturday. The gunmen shot dead a security guard at the entrance to the hotel. "Security forces have cordoned area. Guests safely evacuated. Terrorists encircled by security forces in staircase leading to top floor. Clearance Operation in progress," a military spokesman said.

Earlier, the provincial home minister Ziaullah Langu told AFP four gunmen had "opened fire" on the hotel.
"There are reports of a few people sustaining minor injuries," the minister said.

gwadar port pakistan

The revamped Gwadar port, a strategic deep seaport in the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), on Sunday became operational in Pakistan's restive Balochistan after a Chinese commercial ship laden with around 250 containers set off for the Middle East and Africa.Image Credit: AP

Mohammad Aslam, the on-duty officer in Gwadar, said ambulances and rescue officers were waiting at a road leading to the hotel, and that he could hear gunfire but that the operation was coming to an end.

"There were no Chinese or Pakistani guests in the hotel," he said, adding that only staff were present in the building.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Pearl Continental is the only luxury hotel in Gwadar, formerly a small fishing village, and is where foreign and Pakistani business delegations as well as diplomats stay when visiting the city.

It sits isolated on a ridge overlooking the Gwadar port, which is the flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The massive infrastructure project seeks to connect the western Chinese province of Xinjiang with Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea.

It includes a 392-kilometre (244-mile) highway from Peshawar to Karachi scheduled to be completed this year, a new highway, airport and hospital at Gwadar port, among many other projects in the country.

The port will provide China with safer and more direct access to the oil-rich Middle East than the waterway trade route it currently uses through the narrow Malacca Straits.

But it has also drawn its share of attacks, particularly from separatists who have long complained that residents do not receive a fair share of profits from the province's resources.

Rocked by insurgencies
Pakistan's poorest and largest province, Balochistan has been rocked by separatist, Islamist and sectarian insurgencies for years.

Pakistani security forces have been targeting insurgents in the province since 2004, and have also been repeatedly accused by international rights groups of abuses there. The military denies the allegations.

Violence in Pakistan has dropped significantly since the country's deadliest-ever militant attack, an assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 people - most of them children.

But militants still retain the ability to carry out attacks, and analysts have long warned that Pakistan is yet to tackle the root causes of extremism.

Saturday's attack came three weeks after separatist gunmen killed 14 people after forcing them off buses in Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

Earlier this week a suicide blast claimed by the Pakistani Taliban at one of the country's oldest and most popular Sufi shrines killed at least 12 people in the eastern city of Lahore.
AFP


 

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Guard, 4 militants killed in Gwadar hotel shootout
AP, PTI/Islamabad
Filed on May 12, 2019


(@ANI/Twitter)
A security official said troops had taken control of the area after killing the assailants.

Four insurgents armed with rifles and grenades attacked a luxury hotel in the southwestern coastal town of Gwadar on Saturday, triggering an intense, hours-long shootout in which one hotel guard and all the attackers were killed, officials said.

In a statement, the military said troops quickly responded to the attack on the Pearl Continental hotel and that all the guests were safely evacuated.

The hotel guard was killed as the assailants opened fire with small arms.

A Baloch separatist group, the Baloch Liberation Army, claimed responsibility, saying its four fighters were involved.

In a statement, the group released pictures of the attackers, who authorities say were killed in the ensuing gun battle.

"All four of the terrorists have been killed," said a senior security official.

A second security official said troops had taken control of the area after killing the assailants.

They said a search was still under way in the area. The hotel is located near the port at Gwadar, which was built by Pakistan with China's help in recent years. Gwadar lies about 700 kilometers southwest of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.

Earlier, Mohammad Aslam, the on-duty officer in Gwadar, said ambulances and rescue officers lined up at a road leading to the hotel .

"There were no Chinese or Pakistani guests in the hotel," he said, adding that only staff were present in the building, adding that at least three are believed to be injured.

Additional police force, anti-terrorism force and army arrived at the hotel to handle the situation, Gwadar Station House Officer (SHO) Aslam Bangulzai said.

A heavy gunbattle between the militants and the navy and army soldiers took place, Bangulzai added.

The hotel, frequented by business as well as leisure travellers, is located on the Koh-e-Batil hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour road in Gwadar.

All foreign and local guests staying at the hotel were safely evacuated, Balochistan Information Minister Zahoor Buledi confirmed. China is investing heavily in Balochistan under the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

"At around 4:50pm (local time) we got reports that there are two to there armed men in PC Hotel," Bangulzai said.

"Two to three gunmen had first fired at and then entered the hotel," Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Hassan Butt said, adding that "95 per cent of the hotel has been evacuated". The provincial police chief further said that "the attackers may have come in a boat to launch the attack".

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned "the terrorists attack" on the hotel, and instructed the authorities to "ensure the safety of all inside the hotel".

He called for a "well planned and strong action against the terrorists".

 

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Gwadar hotel attack; Prime Minister Imran says hotel attack is an attempt to sabotage economic plans
Hashoo Group to provide lifetime support to families of hotel guards killed in attack
Published: May 12, 2019
Ashfaq Ahmed, Associate Editor - Online

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Five people including four secuirty guards of the hotel were killed
  • Balochistan Liberation Army claimed the responsbility
  • The hotel will be reopened after security clearnace and repair work
  • Zaver Pearl Continental is the only five-start hotel in Gwadar

Dubai: Sudden surge in terrorists attacks in Pakistan during the last couple of months have once again challenged the security forces and the government struggling to cope with the economic crisis.

This is the first time that terrorists have raised their heads since Prime Minister Imran Khan has come in to power about nine months ago. The intensity has increased after he launched operation against banned militant groups and curbed financing of proscribed outfits.

Security forces would have to step up efforts to tackle these sporadic attacks in different parts of Pakistan as such events though small in intensity pose bigger threat to the economy of the country as they scared the potnetial investors and the business activities which is much needed in the country currently negotiating loans with the IMF.

Gwadar being the focal point of China Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of the most sensitive port city where a large number of foreigners especially Chinese are also working.

The Zaver Pearl Continental Hotel which came under attack on Saturday is the only five-star hotel in Gwadar and the center of activities for multi-national companies and foreigners. The hotel has been vacated after the attack as the security forces have launched the combing operations inside the premises.

At least five civilians including four security guards were killed by the four armed terrorists who were later killed during a gun-battle with security forces.

Gwadar being the focal point of China Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of the most sensitive port city where a large number of foreigners especially Chinese are also working.

This is the third time during the last 11 years that three of the five start hotels run by Hashoo Group of companies came under attack by terrorists.

The group is owned by Sadruddin Hashwani who was recently awarded the top civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for his services to the country.

His Marriott Hotel in Islamabad came under attack on September 20, 2008, when a dump truck filled with explosives was detonated in front of the hotel killing at least 54 people, injuring at least 266. He rebuilt and opened the hotel within 90 days.

At least 17 people were killed and 46 injured when his Pearl Continental Hotel came under attack on June 9, 2009 in Peshawar but he reopened it again.

Financial support for families of guards
Speaking to Gulf News, Murtaza Hashwani, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hashoo Group, condemned the attack and said that they were not scared of such attacks and would continue to serve their country. “We will reopen the hotel as soon as security forces complete their work and give them clearance,” he said.

About the killing of hotel security guards in the attack, Hashwani said that they would provide life-time support to his family including free education to their children. He declined to comment further about the attackers saying it was up to the security forces to identify them and bring them to task.

A clearing operation was ongoing following Saturday night's assault on the Zaver Pearl Continental Hotel.

A Baloch separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army, has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying four of its fighters were involved.
The same separatist group in 2018 attacked a Chinese Consulate in Karachi, triggering a shootout in which all three insurgents, two police officers and two civilians were killed.

Gwadar lies in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where separatist groups often clashed with the government forces demanding
The latest attack came weeks after Islamabad claimed that a group of militants crossed the border from neighboring Iran and killed 14 security officials when they were on their way to Gwadar in buses.

At least 12 people including five personnel of elite police force killed outside Data Darbar Shrine in Lahore last week.

In a statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan described the attack targeting as a bid to "sabotage prosperity" in the area.
"Such attempts, especially in Balochistan, are an effort to sabotage our economic projects and prosperity. We shall not allow these agendas to succeed".

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad also strongly condemned the incident. "The heroic action of Pakistani Army & law enforcement agencies is highly appreciated," it said on Twitter. "We express condolences to the families of the security guard who sacrificed his life & two security men who were injured."

How it happened
Between 4:30pm and 5pm yesterday, four terrorists forced entry into the PC Hotel, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The attackers wore uniforms resembling those worn by members of the security forces and were equipped with modern weapons, official sources told Dawn.

They barged into the hotel, took some hotel staffers hostage, and opened fire. A police official had said that there were no guests at the hotel and only local staff was present there. Official sources had also denied rumours about the presence of Chinese and other foreigners in the hotel.
Security guards deployed at the hotel offered resistance but three of them were shot dead by the attackers.

Security forces, including Navy commandos, Army and Frontier Corps troops, rushed to the hotel and launched an operation. Navy helicopters also landed on the roof of the hotel.

The area was cordoned off immediately, and the people inside the hotel were evacuated to safety, the ISPR had said.

The DIG of Makran range, Muneer Ahmed Zia Rao, said that the first, second and third floor of the hotel were cleared, after which attackers took refuge on the fourth floor where a shootout ensued between them and security forces.

The exchange of fire between both parties continued for about 10 hours with brief intervals until the four terrorists were killed overnight.

Most of the hotel's guests are attached to the government, multinational companies and Chinese involved in various projects. The Chinese employees of the Gwadar port project live in a separate location, though the hotel is often used for project-related meetings.

More violence warning
A Baloch separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army after claiming the responsibility of the attack, has warned Pakistan of further violence.
"After more than 10 hours of continuous battle and achieving all their targets the BLA fighters have used their last bullets on them and have left this world," said a Twitter post by what claims to be the official account of the separatist group, the Baluchistan Liberation Army.

It added: "Expect more attacks China and Pakistan."

 

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Update Gwadar PC operation. Security Forces have completed clearance operation at PC Gwadar.

...
Rawalpindi - May 12, 2019
No PR-100/2019-ISPR


Update Gwadar PC operation. Security Forces have completed clearance operation at PC Gwadar. All 3 terrorists killed. Terrorists bodies are held for identification. During operation 5 individuals got Shaheed including 4 hotel employees and a Pakistan Navy soldier. 6 individuals got injured including 2 Army Captains , 2 Pakistan Navy soldiers and 2 hotel employee.

Terrorists had attempted entry into the hotel aimed at targeting/ taking hostage the guests present in hotel. Security guard at entry challenged terrorists denying them entry into main hall and terrorists went to staircase leading to upper floors. Terrorists opened fire resulting into martyrdom of security guard Zahoor.

Enroute to stairs, terrorists kept firing indiscriminately resulting into martyrdom of three more hotel employees, Farhad, Bilawal and Awais while 2 got injured. Quick Reaction Forces of Army, Navy and Police immediately reached hotel, secured guests and staff present in the hotel and restricted terrorists within corridor of fourth floor.


After ensuring safe evacuation of guests and staff, clearance operation was launched to take on terrorists. Meanwhile terrorists had made cctv cameras dysfunctional and planted IEDs on all entry points leading to 4th floor. Security Forces made special entry points to get into 4th floor, shot down all terrorists and cleared planted IEDS. In exchange of fire Pak Navy soldier Abbas Khan embraced Shahadat while 2 Army Captains, 2 Pakistan Navy soldiers got injured.

DG ISPR thanks entire media for responsible reporting and coverage of operation. This actually denied terrorists of possible live updates thus facilitated security forces in smooth execution of the operation.


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Khafee

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Rest in Peace to the deads and speed recovery to the injured. What was the motive behind this?
Apparently just to kill people, and scare them of from investing in Gawadar.
 

Lieutenant

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Apparently just to kill people, and scare them of from investing in Gawadar.
I think Pakistan is aware that such scenarios might occur. A first in line solution is to despatch a big number of security forces to secure the area.
 

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