Pakistan: Several dead after gunmen attack stock exchange

Pakistan Karatschi | Angriff auf die Börse (Reuters/A. Soomro)

(DW) – Armed men attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi on Monday, killing at least three people — two guards and one policeman — as well as the four assailants, according to police. Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said the attackers pulled up in a car outside the trading floor and hurled a grenade at the building before opening fire.

Rizwan Ahmend, a police official at the scene of the attack said that gunmen opened fire at the entrance and entered the stock exchange grounds. It was not immediately clear if more assailants are at large.

“There was one policeman who lost his life,” Karachi-based journalist Yusra Askari told DW. “We do know that several security guards are among the injured. They have been moved to hospitals across Karachi.”

Heavily armed special forces have surrounded the building, and local television stations have shown police in full body armor surrounding the structure. Shazia Jehan, a police spokesman, said a bomb disposal squad had also been called to the building and was trying to clear it of explosives.

“Aerial surveillance of the area is underway and all roads leading to the Karachi Stock Exchange have been cordoned off for security purposes,” said Askari.

Additionally, the Majid Brigade of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) took responsibility for the attack. The BLA is an armed insurgent group advocates for the independence of Balochistan province from Pakistan.

Karachi is Pakistan’s financial center, and home to the Pakistan State Bank, as well as several national and international financial institutions. 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, according to a statement from municipal authorities.

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