Security forces killed four gunmen who attempted to storm the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi on Monday. Four security guards, a police sub-inspector and a civilian were also killed in the attack, media reported. Three police officials have been injured, it further said.
The gunmen, sources said, stepped out of a vehicle and lobbed grenades before entering the stock exchange premises. AK-47 rifles, hand grenades, magazines and other explosive material have been recovered, the police said, adding that the equipment indicated that they had come for a long siege.
The building, which is in a high-security zone, also houses the head offices of many private banks. Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Reuters that they exchanged gunfire with security personnel. “The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation,” the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) said on Twitter. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The Pakistani Police said that five persons have received injuries in the horrific attack in Karachi, the country’s financial centre. The injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital.
Pakistan media sources said, the Baloch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack on their Instagram account. Meanwhile, reports also suggest that police had found an abandoned vehicle just outside the KSX. The vehicle has now been cleared by a bomb disposal squad.
Police have sealed the surrounding areas.
“An unfortunate incident took place at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. They made their way from our parking area and opened fire on everyone,” said Abid Ali Habib, the Pakistan Stock Exchange director.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah condemned the attack, saying it was “akin to an attack on national security and economy”. Anti-state elements want to take advantage of the virus situation, said Shah.
Meanwhile, Sindh province Governor Imran Ismail condemned the incident.
“Strongly condemn the attack on PSX aimed at tarnishing our relentless war on terror. Have instructed the IG & security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are caught alive & their handlers are accorded exemplary punishments. We shall protect Sindh at all costs,” he said.
As soon as the firing broke, people present in the stock exchange building huddled inside their offices. The Pakistan Stock Exchange building is located on Karachi’s II Chundrigar Road, which is also called Pakistan’s Wall Street. The area also has the Pakistan State Bank and the headquarters of various other national and international financial institutions.
The Karachi stock exchange is the largest and oldest stock exchange of Pakistan.