Four terrorists among eight dead in Pakistan Stock Exchange attack
Eight people, including four terrorists, were reportedly killed and at least seven others injured in an attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, as the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the incident carried out Monday morning.
Two of the attackers were eliminated by security guards and police stationed at one of the entrances of the building. Thus, their bravery ensured that there were no mass causalities as they saved the lives of hundreds of those working in the building.
But three security guards and a policeman embraced martyrdom during the process while several of them are also among the injured.
Meanwhile, the remaining two gunmen tried to move ahead while resorting to indiscriminate firing and lobbing hand grenades. However, the police and Rangers personnel reached the scene immediately. The gunfight continued for some time and ended with the killing of the remaining two attackers before they could enter the building.
The martyred policeman has been identified as Sub-inspector Shahid Ali, while Iftikhar was one of security guards embracing martyrdom.
The BLA later claimed responsibility in a message sent to AFP, saying an elite unit of its members had carried out the assault.
The death of the four terrorists was first confirmed by Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon who said the attackers pulled up in car outside the trading floor and hurled a grenade at the building before opening fire. “Four attackers have been killed,” he added.
Later, Sindh Rangers DG Maj Gen Umar Bokhari told a press conference that the terrorists reached the building at 10:02am and the entire operation was completed within eight minutes.
He said the anti-Pakistan forces would not able to destabilise the country, adding that the Indian intelligence agency RAW was behind the attack.
Separately, Provincial Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah too held India responsible for the terrorist attack and said New Delhi did not want to see a stable Pakistan.
According to the police, two constables of RFF (Rapid Response Force) – Khalil and Rafique – foiled the two terrorists’ attempt to enter the building.
Earlier, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told the Sindh Assembly that all the four attackers had been eliminated and a policeman along with two security guards were martyred.
As the law enforcers cordoned off the area, the army personnel too arrived at the building and joined the rescue and search operation. The bomb disposal squad was also called to the site to clear the building of explosive devises.
Over 2,500 people work in the Pakistan Stock Exchange building which houses the offices of over 80 brokers and the branches of all the prominent banks. It is located on II Chundrigar Road – the financial hub of the port city.
The exchange of fire was also captured by camera and circulated on social media.
Video from inside the Pakistan Stock Exchange building - intense firing can be heard pic.twitter.com/7xxYW92nHo— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 29, 2020
The terrorists arrived at the building blue-coloured Corolla and also carried eatables with them which shows that they had planned to stay for a long period and make the people hostage.
The terrorists entered the building from the gate where security arrangements are minimum. However, the guards deputed at that spot showed extraordinary courage.
Monday's attack comes more than a week after a grenade was thrown at a line of people waiting outside a government welfare office in the city, killing one and injuring eight others.
The BLA has targeted infrastructure projects along with Chinese workers in Pakistan multiple times in recent years, including during a brazen daylight attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi which killed four people in 2018.
In May last year, the BLA attacked a luxury hotel in Gwadar, where a port development is the flagship project of a multi-billion dollar national infrastructure project funded by China.