Pakistan ups security for Chinese firms after deadly Gwadar hotel attack

Measures are being taken to protect Chinese nationals in Pakistan after gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in the southern port city of Gwadar on Saturday, 11 May, in which eight people died.

Four non-Chinese employees of the Zaver Pearl-Continental Hotel were killed by separatist attackers who stormed the building in the afternoon, and one Pakistan Navy commando died in the ensuing battle with three trapped terrorists.

The attackers were all killed, the armed forces media agency said. 

Four soldiers and two further hotel workers were injured in the attack, responsibility for which was claimed by the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Gwadar is the southern terminus of the $62bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a transport-energy-industrial corridor stretching from China’s western Xinjiang region south to Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.

The fourth floor of the hotel, popular with visiting business people, was destroyed by attackers’ explosive devices and rocket fire as they tried to fight off a quick reaction force of Pakistan’s army, navy and police.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack as "an effort to sabotage our economic projects and prosperity".  

The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan on Saturday tweeted its thanks to Pakistan’s army and security forces for their "heroic action". 

Security has now been stepped up at the port city to protect employees of the China Overseas Port Handling Company, which operates the new port, and others working on different projects under CPEC, newspaper Dawn reported. 

Security officials have said that militants trying to disrupt CPEC have killed more than 50 Pakistani workers since 2014. 

In November security forces killed three BLA militants who launched a gun-and-grenade attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. 

Image: The Zaver Pearl-Continental Hotel sustained heavy damage in the attack on 11 May (

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