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4 assailants, 1 guard killed in attack on luxury hotel in Pakistan, authorities say

PAKISTAN-GWADAR-ATTACK
This picture taken on March 8, 2019 shows 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.
(Banaras Khan / AFP/Getty Images)

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, Pakistani 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. A hotel guard was killed as the assailants opened fire with small arms.

A Baluch separatist group, the Baluch 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.

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A second official said troops had taken control of the area after killing the assailants. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said a search was still underway 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 435 miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

The region has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by separatists who demand a greater share of the province’s natural gas and mineral resources.

The latest attack came weeks after Pakistani leaders claimed that a group of militants crossed the border from neighboring Iran and killed 14 security officials in buses on their way to Gwadar.

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Pakistan at the time blamed a Baluch separatist group, Raji Aajoi Sangar, for the killings.


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