Militants yesterday attacked the stock exchange in the Pakistani city of Karachi, killing at least six people — four security guards, a policeman and a bystander, police said.
Special police forces deployed to the scene of the attack and in a swift operation secured the building.
Local police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon confirmed that all four attackers were also dead.
The Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), ethnic Baloch separatists, claimed responsibility for the attack. Over the past few years, the group has hit a string of high-profile targets across the country, including in the southern port city of Karachi.
The attackers were armed with grenades and automatic rifles, and launched the attack by opening fire at the entrance gate of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the police said.
Heavily armed special forces quickly surrounded the building, located in the heart of Karachi’s financial district, where the Pakistan State Bank is located, as well as the headquarters of several national and international financial institutions.
Local television stations broadcast images of police in full body armor surrounding the building, but still staying outside the high-walled compound of the stock exchange.
Rizwan Ahmend, a police official at the scene, said that after opening fire, the gunmen entered the stock exchange grounds.
He said that after the attack was over, police found food supplies on the bodies of the gunmen, indicating they might have planned a long siege, which police quickly thwarted.
Inside the stock exchange, broker Yaqub Memon said that he and others were huddled inside their offices while the attack was underway.
As the firing ended and the gunmen were killed, police gathered all the employees and brokers in a single room, while security forces went floor by floor to ensure that no explosives had been left behind, he said.
Police spokesman Shazia Jehan said that the police called the bomb disposal team to the stock exchange to clear the building of any explosive devises.
The BLA is one of several insurgent groups fighting primarily in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan Province, which has been rocked by separatist, Islamist and sectarian violence for years.
The group in the past few years has targeted infrastructure projects along with Chinese workers in Pakistan multiple times, 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 near the Afghan border at Gwadar, where a port development is the flagship project of a China-funded multibillion-dollar national infrastructure project.
The group yesterday circulated to the media a photograph of four men in full body armor and camouflage outfits, saying they were the militants who attacked the stock exchange.
The Karachi stock exchange is Pakistan’s largest and oldest stock exchange, incorporated today with the exchanges in Islamabad and Lahore.
Additional reporting by AFP
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle