Four gunmen target Karachi building, leaving at least three people dead and four others injured
Four gunmen targeted the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building in Karachi on Monday morning, provoking a shoot-out with security forces that resulted in all four militants being killed.
According to police, at least three people have died in the attack—two security guards deployed at the main gate of the building and one police official. Another four were injured, including a policeman, a security guard and two civilians.
The Baloch Liberation Army, in a posting on Twitter, claimed responsibility for the assault. The militants have claimed the attack was meant to be a suicide attack and the assailants had intended to take control of the building. They said the attackers were members of the “majeed brigade” and have identified them as Tasleem Baloch, Shehzad Baloch, Salman Hammal and Siraj Kungur.
Eyewitness reports have claimed that the four militants tried to enter the PSX building in a car at around 10 a.m. After security forces tried to stop them, the militants launched a grenade attack and stormed the building after opening indiscriminate fire. Law enforcement agencies, including the paramilitary Rangers, swiftly sealed off the region and launched a “clean-up” operation to locate and neutralize all the attackers.
Police have said that two of the attackers had tried to attack people at the main entrance of the building, while the remaining two had entered the building itself.
The paramilitary Sindh Rangers, about an hour after the attack started, announced that all the terrorists had been killed. They said that while the terrorists had not been wearing suicide jackets, they have arrived with explosives that suggested they had no intention of leaving the PSX building alive.
“The attackers had hand grenades with them. Two of them were killed at the gate, and two were killed further inside the building complex,” Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation, which is located opposite the PSX building, told journalists.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail condemned the attack on PSX, saying it was aimed at tarnishing Pakistan’s “relentless war on terror.” He added: “Have instructed the IG and security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are caught alive and their handlers are accorded exemplary punishments. We shall protect Sindh at all costs.”
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also condemned the attack and claimed anti-national elements were trying to take advantage of the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, he directed all law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant and prepare and submit a detailed inquiry into the incident.
A spokesperson for the PSX told journalists that all the militants were killed before they could enter the building.