–Military’s media wing reveals three terrorists killed, bodies held for identification
ISLAMABAD: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced on Sunday that the Pakistan Armed Forces have concluded the clearance operation of Gwadar Pearl Continental and revealed that five people – four hotel employees and a navy soldier – were killed in Saturday’s attack while six others were injured.
In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, the military’s media wing revealed that three terrorists belonging to the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which had claimed responsibility for the attack, had been killed in the operation and their bodies had been retained by the military for identification.
Reportedly, the assault began at 4:30-5 pm and the attackers wore uniforms similar to those wore by the security forces and they were equipped with modern weapons.
The military revealed that the three terrorists had entered the hotel with the intent of targeting hotel guests or taking them hostage. Zahoor, the guard at the entrance of the hotel, tried to stop the terrorists but was killed, ISPR added.
“The terrorists went to the staircase leading to the upper floors. En route to the stairs, the terrorists kept firing indiscriminately, resulting in the deaths of three or more hotel employees, Farhad, Bilawal and Awais, while two got injured,” the military’s media wing said.
ISPR said that the terrorists were restricted to the fourth floor corridor after Quick Response Forces of the army, navy and police reached the hotel and started an operation. The forces also rescued the guests and staff present inside the hotel.
“After ensuring safe evacuation of guests and staff, a clearance operation was launched to take on the terrorists,” the statement said. “During this time the terrorists had made CCTV cameras dysfunctional and planted improvised explosive devices on all entry points leading to fourth floor,” the statement added.
“Security forces made special entry points to get onto the fourth floor, shot down all terrorists and cleared planted IEDs,” ISPR further said. The military’s media wing also revealed that Pakistan Navy soldier Abbas Khan was martyred in an exchange of fire, while four other army and navy captains were injured.
ISPR thanked the media for its responsible reportage during the operation, which “denied the terrorists of possible live updates and facilitated the security forces in smooth execution of the operation”.
Following the attack, the Balochistan government tightened security across the province. Chief Minister Jam Kamal chaired a high-level meeting today to review security arrangements in Gwadar and other parts of the province.
On Saturday, security forces battled three heavily armed attackers who stormed the five stars Pearl Continental Hotel in the southwestern port city of Gwadar, officials said.
Locals said that several gunshots were heard after the terrorists entered the luxury hotel. Other officials also confirmed that security personnel had safely evacuated guests and cordoned off the hotel.