Pakistan: Several killed in explosion at Quetta hotel

Car laden with explosives blows up in parking area of Serena Hotel, killing at least four and wounding 12.

Security personnel and firefighters arrive at the site of the explosion in Quetta [Banaras Khan/AFP]

At least four people have been killed and 12 wounded in a powerful explosion in the parking area of an upscale hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, according to health authorities.

China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, was a guest at Serena Hotel, according to Zia Langove, home minister of Balochistan province. The ambassador was not at the hotel at the time of Wednesday’s explosion, Langove told Al Jazeera.

There was no immediate comment by the Chinese embassy.

“A car that was full of explosives exploded in the hotel,” Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told local ARY News TV.

Security forces rushed to the hotel and no one was allowed to approach the site of the explosion. Footage on local news channels showed cars in flames, while police said they had opened an investigation.

Waseem Baig, spokesperson of the Civil Hospital, the main hospital in Quetta where the wounded were taken, confirmed to Al Jazeera the number of people killed and wounded. Some of the wounded were believed to be in critical condition.

With reporting by Asad Hashim, Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies