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Marriott to reopen on Sunday in new 'Fort Knox of Pakistan' avatar

By Staff

Islamabad, Dec 25 (ANI): The luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad will be turned into the 'Fort Knox of Pakistan' when it opens on Sunday.

Peter Alex, the chief operating officer of the Hashoo group which owns the 289-room hotel, said "new concepts of security and safety" have been used in the extensive renovation work to ensure guests can check in without fear.

"It will be the Fort Knox of Pakistan," a foreign news agency quoted Alex, as saying.

Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. It is the site where America stores most of its official gold reserves.

Alex said 60 rooms would be available from Sunday for the Marriott's "soft re-opening," with the entire hotel due to be open for business by March.

He said the re-opening would "bring back to life a hotel which has been the centre of activity in Islamabad for more than 30 years."

A truck bomb that killed 60 people and wounded another 260 ripped the Marriott Hotel apart.

Approximately 600 kg of RDX was mixed with TNT (Torpex or H6) and a mixture of mortar and other ammunition to increase the explosive capacity.

The blast caused a natural gas leak that set the top floor of the five-story, 258-room hotel on fire.

The massive explosion was heard 15 kilometres away. The blaze that followed quickly engulfed the entire structure of the hotel. About two-thirds of the building caught fire as a result of the explosion after a natural gas pipe was blown open, and the reception area was completely destroyed. (ANI)

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