Islamabad: On the eve of 20th September 2008, Jihadist terrorists attempted to ram a truck loaded with 600 kgs of explosives through the main gate of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. Although the vehicle could not make it through the barrier, the blast killed 53 people, mostly Pakistanis, and injured 266 others. The explosion left a crater 20 metres wide and 8 metres deep. According to some reports, the sound of the blast was heard 15 kms away from the hotel, which is surrounded by government buildings and diplomatic missions.
An image from the day of the attack.
Few months later, the Pakistani government started reconstruction of the hotel and it was officially reopened on 28th December 2008.
Marriott Hotel Islamabad is a franchise hotel owned and operated by Hashwani hotels, a prominent Pakistani company in the hospitality field, which is also running other luxury hotels in other Pakistani cities.
According to intelligence reports, the man believed to be responsible for the attack on Marriott Hotel Islamabad was a senior Al-Qaeda leader Qari Yasin, who was killed in a US drone attack in March 2017 in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has paid a high price — the lives of 6,000 soldiers and 23,000 civilians, along with $123 billion (Dh451 billion) of economic losses — in its war on terror.
It has been 10 years since the attack but Marriott Hotel Islamabad is still the most prestigious hotel in Islamabad today.