A bomb blast ripped through a luxury hotel's parking area in Pakistan's Quetta on Wednesday night, killing four people and wounding around 12 others, according to reports. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong was staying at the hotel but was not present at the property when the bomb exploded. Nong had left for an official dinner just minutes before the blast took place, according to Pakistan's Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.
Where was the Bomb Planted?
The bomb was planted in a white sedan that entered the hotel premises around 10:30 p.m. and exploded in the parking area killing a police officer hotel security guard including two others.
Pakistan Taliban Claims Responsibility for Bombing Quetta Hotel
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the car bombing. "It was a suicide attack in which our suicide bomber used his explosives-filled car in the hotel," a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters. "A car that was full of explosives exploded in the hotel," Ahmad told the media.
The Chinese Embassy has not commented on the blast yet. The hotel, where the blast took place is next to the Iranian Consulate and the provincial parliament building. While Nong Rong escaped the blast, it wasn't clear whether the Chinese ambassador was a target of the suicide bomb attack.
CCTV Footage of Quetta Hotel bombing
The CCTV footage of the car used in the Quetta bombing has surfaced on social media. The video footage shows a sedan easily entering the parking area without having to go through checks by securities.
Did Taliban Target Chinese Envoy Nong Rong?
Reports suggest that Chinese nationals and their interests in the region have been attacked by Taliban militants before. But it was not clear whether the Nong Rong or members of his delegation were targets of the attack.
The ambassador and Li Bijian, Chinese consul general for Sindh and Balochistan, were on an official visit to Pakistan's Quetta, which is the capital of Balochistan province. Nong had a meeting with the governor and chief minister of the province.
Later he participated in donating food packets to needy families in a distribution ceremony, according to reports. The Chinese delegation was staying at the Serena Hotel, which is the only four four-star hotels in Quetta.