Several dead after gunmen attack stock exchange

A plainclothes police officer surveys the site of an attack at the Pakistan Stocks Exchange entrance in Karachi on Jun 29. REUTERS

A plainclothes police officer surveys the site of an attack at the Pakistan Stocks Exchange entrance in Karachi on Jun 29. REUTERS

At least five people have reportedly been killed in a firing incident and grenade attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange located on main I.I. Chundrigar in Karachi.

Following yesterday's attack, the Pakistani authorities vowed to strike back against any group found responsible for the onslaught, promising to dismantle their networks and destroy their bases.

It is not clear if more assailants were involved and a search of the premises is continuing. The group has been waging an urgency for years, demanding independence for Pakistan's gas-rich southwestern Baluchistan province, which borders the southern Sindh province, where Karachi is the provincial capital.

Security personnel surrounds the Stock Exchange Building after an attack in Karachi, Pakistan, on Monday. Local television stations are showing police in full body armor surrounding the building but still staying outside the high-walled compound of the stock exchange. Weapons and hand grenades have been recovered from the attackers.

Militants from the Baloch Liberation Army say they were behind the attack.

Around 150 employees were at the building during the assault, the stock exchange director told the media.

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Gunfire was heard following the attack as the police moved in to cordon off the area.

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.

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.

Besides the four security guards, a police officer and an investor were among those killed in the attack, the police said.

Pakistan has always been plagued by Islamist militant violence but attacks have become less frequent in recent years. Some believe that it could be one reason for the group, designated as a terrorist organization by Pakistan, the United States, Britain and the European Union, attacking the bourse.

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