11 killed in Pak Stock Exchange attack; hostage situation foiled
Karachi: Four heavily armed militants attacked the busy Pakistan Stock Exchange building here with guns and grenades on Monday morning, killing four security guards and a police officer before being shot dead in an exchange of fire, authorities said.
The militants, who arrived in a car, opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed grenades at the main gate of the multi-storey building situated in the city’s high-security commercial hub as they tried to storm it.
Armed with automatic machine guns, grenades and explosives, they tried to enter into the compound leading to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building through a parking lot but security forces foiled their attack within the compound itself, Deputy superintendent of police (South), Jamil Ahmed said.
They lobbed hand grenades and opened fire initially at the compound entrance to force themselves into the compound but one of them was killed immediately and that pushed them back, he said.
The police and Rangers’ officials arrived at the scene and killed all the four terrorists near the entrance gates, Sindh Rangers said.
Four security guards and a police sub-inspector were killed in the heavy exchange of fire at the PSX compound on Karachi’s I.I. Chundrigar Road, also known as Pakistan’s Wall Street, the police said. Two civilians were also killed in the attack.
Explosives, hand grenades and even food supplies were recovered from the bodies of the gunmen, indicating that they had come with a plan for a long siege at the building, the officer said.
President ArifAlvi and Pime Minister Imran Khan condemned the terrorist attack and said that the country is determined to root out terrorism from its soil.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) linked Majeed Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.
A senior official of the Counter-Terrorism Department said that one of the militants was identified as Salman, who hails from the restive Baluchistan province. DSP Jamil said that none of the terrorists managed to enter the main trading hall or building and that trading did not stop even during the attack.
PSX Managing Director Farrukh Khan said that the number of people in the compound was lower than normal today as many people are still staying home due to the COVID-19 .
Sindh’s Inspector-General of Police Mushtaq Mahar said that the bodies of the attackers have been taken into custody for investigation and forensics.
None of them managed to even get close to the main building. All four were killed at the entrance of the compound which leads to the PSX, he said.
Sindh Police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi confirmed that seven bodies and seven injured, including policemen, have been brought to Karachi’s Civil Hospital.
The firing by militants caused panic among the people in the building.
Senior Police official Sharjeel Kharal said that the attackers were armed with automatic weapons and came with a mission to create a hostage situation.
According to some media reports, the attackers were reportedly wearing clothes usually worn by police officials while they are off-duty. (PTI)