Pakistani security forces have killed three separatist insurgents who had stormed a luxury hotel in the port city of Gwadar 24 hours earlier, the military said on Sunday.
Officials said three gunmen dressed as military officers raided the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel on Saturday, killing three hotel security guards, an employee and a navy soldier in the ensuing gunbattle.
The insurgents had been holed up on the top floor of the hotel after security forces arrived. The forces cleared all guests from the premises while cornering the attackers in a staircase.
“Security forces have completed clearance operation,” the military said in a statement, adding all three attackers had been killed.
The Balochistan Liberation Army insurgent group, which says it is fighting what it sees as the unfair exploitation of the province’s natural resources, claimed responsibility saying in a statement the attack was aimed at “Chinese and other foreign investors”.
Balochistan, which borders both Iran and Afghanistan, is Pakistan’s poorest province but has abundant reserves of natural gas and various minerals.
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 Belt and Road infrastructure project.