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3 gunmen among 4 killed in Pak 5-star hotel attack

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Islamabad, May 11: Three terrorists, who had stormed a five-star hotel in Pakistan's port city Gwadar have been killed after hours-long gunfight.

Image tweeted by ANI

A shootout between the militants and the security forces broke out at the hotel as the anti-terrorism force, the Army and the Frontier Corps were called in, Gwadar Station House Officer (SHO) Aslam Bangulzai said.

Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langov said that all the three attackers were killed by the security forces.

A security guard has also been killed in the incident.

As the terrorists tried to force their entry into the hotel, a guard positioned at the entrance confronted them following which the armed militants opened fire on him, resulting in his death, the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an ethnic Baloch separatist group fighting for independence for Balochistan province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Our fighters have carried out this attack on Chinese and other foreign investors who were staying in PC hotel," said Jihand Baloch, a BLA spokesperson, in a statement emailed to Al Jazeera.

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There are at least three to four terrorists inside with weapons, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported, quoting a police officer.

"At around 4:50 pm (local time) we got reports that there are three to four armed men in PC Hotel," Station House Officer (SHO) Aslam Bangulzai said told Dawn.There was no immediate reports casualties.

The report further said that additional police force, ATF (anti-terrorism force) and army have been called in to handle the situation. No foreigners are reported to have been inside the hotel, the report said.

All foreign and local guests staying at the hotel have been safely evacuated, Express Tribune quoted Balochistan Information Minister Zahoor Buledi as saying.

Navy and army soldiers are carrying out the operation, reports said.

"At around 4:50 pm (local time) we got reports that there are three to four armed men in PC Hotel," the officer said.

Frontier Corps personnel have cordoned off the hotel, DawnNewsTV reported citing police sources.

The hotel, frequented by business and leisure travellers, is located on the Koh-e-Batil hill, south of West Bay on Fish Harbour road in Gwadar.

On April 18, unidentified gunmen donning uniforms of paramilitary soldiers massacred at least 14 passengers, including Pakistan Navy personnel, after forcing them to disembark from buses on a highway in Balochistan.

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies. China is investing heavily in Balochistan under the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CPEC, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

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