One killed in attack on five-star hotel in Pakistan

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Gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in the south-western Pakistani port city of Gwadar, triggering a shoot-out with security forces, officials said on Saturday.

"At around 4:50 pm (local time) we got reports that there are three to four armed men in PC Hotel", Station House Officer (SHO) Aslam Bangulzai said told Dawn.There was no immediate reports casualties.

As they moved up the stairs the other hotel employees were shot dead.

UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq in a statement issued, here today, said the world body deplores all such attacks and reiterates that there can be no justification for terrorist acts. The number of injuries is not yet known.

A Baluch separatist group, the Baluch Liberation Army, has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying four of its fighters were involved.

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The schemes, part of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative, are opposed by some militant groups, including Baloch separatists, who say they are of little benefit to local people, the BBC's Jill McGivering says.

The military said at least three gunmen killed a guard at the entrance to the hotel when they entered.

It sits isolated on a ridge overlooking the Arabian Sea port city that was formerly a small fishing village, but now touted by officials as "the next Dubai" thanks to the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On Thursday, at least five people were killed when BLA gunmen attacked a coal mine in the Harnai district of Balochistan.

The Pearl Continental Hotel is frequented by both business and leisure travellers.

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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. It further added that DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor had appreciated Pakistan's media outlets for their responsible reporting and coverage of the operation.

"A clearance operation is in progress". They evacuated the place immediately once they came to know the terrorists occupy the area.

But Balochistan, the largest and poorest province, remains an exception and there have been several attacks this year.

China is investing heavily in Balochistan under the CPEC.

It is one of a number of groups fighting for Baluchistan, which wants greater autonomy.

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