QUETTA/BEIJING: The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Thursday for a deadly suicide blast at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador, as officials raised the death toll to five.
The Taliban said security officials were the target of the blast.
The bomber detonated the explosives late Wednesday while inside a vehicle in the car park of the Serena hotel -- part of a five-star chain popular with diplomats and aid agencies -- in the city of Quetta, police and the interior ministry said.
"The suicide bomber hit the security officials exactly as it was planned," the spokesperson for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said in a statement.
"I was walking through the car park when I heard a sudden loud sound and the earth shook under my feet," said Khuda Baksh, a guard at the hotel.
"Everyone was running for their lives before I lost consciousness," he told AFP.
"We will not allow this monster to re-emerge," tweeted Prime Minister Imran Khan.
"We are on full alert and keeping an eye on all internal and external threats."
Analysts warn, however, that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of extremism.
Wednesday's blast also comes after the radical anti-blasphemy party, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), held a week of violent protests calling for the French ambassador to be kicked out of the country.-AFP
China said Thursday it "strongly condemns" the bombing of a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta, which killed at least four people.
Describing the bombing as a "terrorist attack", foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the Chinese delegation was not present when the explosion occurred in the car park of the hotel in hotel.-AFP
Chinese Embassy press release said. On the night of April 21 local time, a car bomb attacked a hotel in Quetta, causing many casualties. China strongly condemns the terrorist attack, expresses condolences to the unfortunate victims, and sympathy to the injured.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, was leading a delegation on a visit in Quetta on the same day. When the attack occurred, the Chinese delegation was not in the hotel. Till present, no reports of casualties of Chinese citizens in the attack have been received.