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Deadly Bomb Blast At Luxury Hotel In Southwestern Pakistan

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Security personnel and firefighters arrive at the site of the explosion in Quetta on April 21.

Pakistani officials say a bomb went off in the parking area of a luxury hotel in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least five people and wounding 12 others.

Several cars parked in front of the Serena Hotel caught fire after the April 21 bombing, police official Mohamed Munir said.

Some of those wounded were said to be in critical condition.

The Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) group, known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it sought to target officials.

Deadly Bomb Blast At Luxury Hotel In Pakistan
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A Chinese delegation led by the ambassador was staying at the Serena Hotel, located next to the Iranian Consulate, the Provincial Assembly, and provincial High Court, but the envoy was not present at the time of the blast, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said.

The provincial interior minister, Mir Zia Langov, told media after the blast that the ambassador will continue his activities on April 22 despite the bomb attack.

Chinese officials did not immediately comment.

Quetta is the capital of resource-rich Balochistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran. The region has been plagued by sectarian violence, attacks by Islamist militants, and a separatist insurgency that has caused thousands of casualties since 2004.

Resentment there has been fueled by Chinese money flowing into the province through the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project -- a key part of China's Belt and Road Initiative -- which locals say gave them little benefit.

Provincial government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani called the April 21 bombing an act of terrorism.

"Enemies of Pakistan are behind today's attack," he said, without elaborating.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa
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