Once again a hotel is the target for a terrorist attack. This time it was the Western-oriented Pearl Continental in the the northwest city of Peshawar, Pakistan, reports The New York Times.
Initial news reports suggested that militants opened fire on guards at the hotel and then rushed a vehicle loaded with explosives at a security check post. Similar tactics were used on May 28 by militants who attempted to attack the headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence service in Lahore, killing 26 people.
Sahibzada Anis, the district coordination of Peshawar, told Geo television that 5 people were killed while 25 were wounded in the blast. A guest at the hotel, Hafiz Faisal, told GEO the explosion left a big crater on the left side of the hotel.
Hotels have always been a prime target for terrorist attacks, with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the attack against the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, last September, the most recent examples.
CNN.com reports that the hotel is favored by diplomats and is next door to a police station and is in close proximity to an army barracks.
The attacks come after recent Taliban threats to attack large cities, according to the Times.
For more on how hotels can secure themselves against terrorist attack, check out Associate Editor Laura Spadanuta's April cover story, "Ensuring an Uneventful Stay."