QUETTA, PAKISTAN — The BBC reports that the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan escaped injury when a car bomb devastated part of a luxury hotel in Quetta, a city near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
The bomb exploded in the parking lot of the luxurious Serena Hotel in the evening of Wednesday 21 April, killing at least four people and injuring twelve.
The Chinese ambassador was staying at the hotel, but officials say he was not there when the bomb exploded.
Quetta is the capital of Balochistan, one of Pakistan’s poorest provinces and home to several armed groups, including Islamic extremists and separatists.
These militants want independence from the rest of Pakistan, and oppose major Chinese infrastructure projects in the area.
Separatists were also blamed for an attack two years ago on a hotel at Gwadar, where a massive port project is being funded by China.
The groups accuse the Pakistani government and China of exploiting Balochistan’s gas and mineral wealth, as well as its strategic position, with little benefit to local people.
SOURCES: BBC, Reuters, CNN, South China Morning Post, Channel News Asia