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Four Militants Killed As Pakistani Security Forces Thwart Attack On Karachi Stock Exchange


Police officers survey a damaged car at the site of an attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange entrance in Karachi on June 29.
Police officers survey a damaged car at the site of an attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange entrance in Karachi on June 29.

Four militants have been killed in an attack on Pakistan's stock-exchange building in the southern port city of Karachi.

Two security guards and a police officer were also killed in the June 29 attack in the heart of the city's financial center, according to police.

"All four [attackers] are dead. Our casualties include one police officer dead and three others are injured," Sharjeel Kharl, deputy inspector-general for the police in Karachi's Southern Zone, told reporters. "Two [private] security guards have also been killed."

Police said that armed attackers pulled their vehicle up to the building and hurled a grenade before storming the entrance and firing indiscriminately.

The gunmen managed to enter the grounds of the high-walled stock exchange, but the attack was thwarted by special forces troops who surrounded the building.

Security forces and the militants exchanged fire for about 20 minutes during the attack, which began at about 10 a.m., according to local media.

One officer on the scene told AP that food supplies were found on the bodies of the gunmen, indicating that they had planned on a long siege.

All employees of the exchange were reportedly safe.

Pakistan's separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) later claimed responsibility for the attack, although the claim was not confirmed by Pakistani authorities.

The group, which was designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department in July 2019, also circulated a photograph of four men in body armor and camouflage, claiming that they were the militants who carried out the attack.

The group demands independence for Pakistan's gas-rich southwestern Balochistan Province, which borders Sindh Province, of which Karachi is the capital.

In declaring the organization a terrorist group, the U.S. State Department described the BLA as "an armed separatist group that usually targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas" of southwestern Pakistan.

The Karachi stock exchange is located in city’s financial district, along with the Pakistan State Bank and several national and international financial institutions.

The Karachi exchange is Pakistan’s largest and oldest stock exchange and is incorporated with exchanges in Islamabad and Lahore.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and BBC