Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi

Above Police officers securing an area around a body outside the Pakistan Stock Exchange after a group of gunmen from the Balochistan Liberation Army opened fire and hurled a grenade at the building in Karachi yesterday. Right above and below An

After failing to enter the compound, the militants launched a gun and grenade attack and attempted to storm the building while opening indiscriminate fire.

Police and security personnel were quickly dispatched to the scene, and a fierce firefight ensued in which all of the terrorists were shot dead.

Ethnic Baloch groups have fought a long-running insurgency for a separate homeland and a greater share of resources in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

The group has targeted infrastructure projects and Chinese workers in Pakistan multiple times in recent years, including during a brazen daylight attack on Bejing's consulate in Karachi which killed four people in 2018.

Khan said that the PSX's guards were successful in stopping the attackers from entering the building till police and rangers responded to the incident.

Two other people were also killed, the military said, adding that security forces were conducting a sweep for any remaining attackers.

In an email sent to media, it said, "Majeed brigade of Baloch Liberation Army today has carried out a self-sacrificing attack on Karachi stock exchange". The Pakistan exchange is 40% controlled by a consortium of Chinese bourses.

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"There was very heavy firing", said Abid Ali Habib, chief executive officer at Aba Ali Habib Securities Pvt. who was in his office on the fourth floor. Authorities haven't yet confirmed if the group, which wants independence from Pakistan for Balochistan, an energy-rich province, was involved.

People inside the building were being evacuated from the back door of the building, Geo TV reported.

The stock exchange has offices for hundreds of financial institutions and is situated in a high security zone along with head offices of banks and other businesses.

Several thousand people work at PSX on a normal day but numbers were low because many were working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Baluchistan Liberation Army later claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a strongly-worded response, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi.

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