Pak hotel blast toll climbs to 17

Two UN employees among 3 foreigners killed; minister warns of more attacks

Among the dead were at least three foreigners, including two UN employees — Serbian national Aleksandar Vorkapic, who worked for the UNHCR, and Perseveranda So of the Philippines who worked for UNICEF. Three Pakistanis working for the UNFPA were also killed.

Several foreigners were among the more than 50 people injured. They included two employees of the UN’s World Food Programme, three Nigerians, a German and Somalian.
Six bodies were pulled out from the debris of the Pearl Continental hotel early on Wednesday morning, taking the death toll to 17. The bodies of the hotel’s general manager and a captain of a Pakistan International Airlines flight crew were among those found on Wednesday.

Blast footage

Dramatic footage captured by close circuit cameras minutes before the suicide attack on a the hotel shows terrorists storming the building’s compound after firing at guards.

The attackers, who drove up to the luxury hotel Pearl Continental’s gate in a white car and a mini truck shortly before 10:30 pm on Tuesday, opened fire after guards opened the gate and lowered a concrete barrier. The car and the truck then drove at high speed towards the parking lot of the hotel. The CCTV footage, aired by Geo News channel, showed a flash caused by a massive explosion that followed minutes later and plumes of smoke rising into the air.

The attack was reminiscent of the suicide bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last year. Both hotels are owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.

90 ultras killed in anti-Taliban strike

Over 90 militants were killed in raging battles in Pakistan’s lawless northwest as security forces on Wednesday pounded Taliban positions to provide crucial back-up to a tribal militia taking on the insurgents, PTI reports from Islamabad. The military said troops had engaged militant positions at Janikhel in Bannu district with heavy fire and a “clearance operation” was underway in Zaidi Akbar Khan area.

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