This picture taken on March 8, 2019 shows a general view of the five-star Pearl Continental hotel located on a hill in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, where gunmen stormed the building. At least one person has been killed after three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Gwadar, the centrepiece of a multi-billion dollar Chinese infrastructure project, the military said on May 11. / AFP / BANARAS KHAN
The five-star Pearl Continental hotel is located on a hill in Pakistan's port city of Gwadar. AFP

Pakistani militants attack five-star hotel in Gwadar

At least one person was killed when militants in Pakistan's Balochistan province attacked a five-star hotel in the southern port city of Gwadar on Saturday.

The military said a security guard was shot dead at the entrance when three gunmen stormed the hotel but all guests had been removed to safety.

"Security forces have cordoned area. Guests safely evacuated. Terrorists encircled by security forces in staircase leading to top floor. Clearance operation in progress," a military spokesman said.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that the gunmen had been killed after they ran out of ammunition.

The attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a militant group fighting for greater autonomy for the Balochistan region.

Balochistan is home to a number of militant groups seeking autonomy or independence from Pakistan. Militants also oppose China's investment in the province under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The massive project, part of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative to develop global trade infrastructure, seeks to connect the western Chinese province of Xinjiang with Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.

The attack on Saturday came three weeks after separatist gunmen targeting naval and security forces killed 14 people after forcing them off buses heading to Qwadar.

On Thursday, at least five people were killed in an attack on a coal mine claimed by the BLA. The group also claimed responsibility for an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi in November. Two policemen died in the assault but the militants were prevented from entering the building.

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