5 security personnel embrace martyrdom: BLA claims responsibility
KARACHI: Four militants were killed and five security personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building here on Monday.
According to details, terrorists stormed the building of Pakistan Stock Exchange using latest weapons and hand grenade; however, timely action of security forces thwarted this plan. Five persons including a police officer and security guards were martyred and many others including a police officer were injured.
The militants with sophisticated weapons stormed the building of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and attacked the security personnel by hurling hand grenades and firing at them, Senior Superintendent Police City of Karachi Muqaddas Haider told the media.
He said two militants were killed during the exchange of firing with the security teams and police, while the other two managed to enter the building and later were gunned down by paramilitary troops who rushed to the site following the attack.
The killed security personnel include four personnel from stock exchange security and a policeman, he said, adding that seven people including policemen also got injured in the attack.
The injured people have been shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi where two of them are reportedly in critical condition.
Later, police, army and paramilitary troops cordoned off the area for clearance operation, and restricted all kinds of movement near the building. Huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from the terrorist car found near Pakistan Stock Exchange building.
Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) armed group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released. “Majeed brigade of Baloch Liberation Army today has carried out a self-sacrificing attack on Karachi stock exchange,” read the statement, emailed to a foreign media outlet.
Managing Director of Pakistan Stock Exchange Farrukh Khan told the media that all militants were restricted and killed near the gate of the stock exchange and none of them reached the offices where trading was taking place, adding that operation of the market continued during the attack.
“We were all terrified,” said Abid Habib, director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange. “There was gunfire and everything, and suddenly everyone was rushing to the windows to see what is happening. “Because the firing was close by, everyone was very worried, and we closed our outside doors.”
Security forces responded to the attack, and paramilitary Rangers were clearing the building, Habib said.
The video footage of the attack – shot by an office worker in a building opposite the PSX complex – showed four attackers dismount from a car and take up positions at a security barrier to the building, firing at security guards. Trails of blood were splattered across the stairs and an adjoining corridor of the building, two other videos and images sent by workers inside the building showed.
The PSX is Pakistan’s main stock exchange, with more than 2,000 employees normally working in the building for the Exchange and associated trading companies. Employee turnout was lower on Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many companies opting to allow their workers to work from home, said Habib. Trading on the PSX continued uninterrupted throughout the attack on Monday, as the stock exchange operates through an online system.