Pakistan attack: Gunmen storm five-star hotel in Balochistan

Pearl Continental Hotel in GwadarImage copyright Pearl Continental Hotel
Image caption The Pearl Continental Hotel is popular among foreign visitors

Three gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan, killing at least one person, officials say.

The attack targeted the Pearl Continental Hotel in the port city of Gwadar, the focal point of a multi-billion-dollar Chinese project.

Most guests have been evacuated.

The separatist Balochistan Liberation Army claimed it was behind the attack, saying it had targeted Chinese and other foreign investors.

Militants in Balochistan oppose Chinese investment saying it is of little benefit to local people, the BBC’s Jill McGivering reports.

The armed men stormed the hotel, popular with foreign visitors, at around 16:50 local time (11:50 GMT), killing one security guard.

It is unclear how many people were inside the building but officials said the majority of guests had been evacuated.

The attack comes just weeks after gunmen killed 14 people, including 11 military personnel, in the region.

Home to a long-running insurgency, Balochistan is Pakistan’s poorest and least developed province.

Several militant groups operate in the region, including the Pakistani Taliban, the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Sunni Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.