Police killed all four assailants who attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) compound in Karachi on Monday morning, police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon confirmed to media.
Citing Memon, Reuters reported that the gunmen had attacked the compound on I I Chundrigar Road with grenades and guns. “Four attackers have been killed, they had come in a Corolla car,” Nabi said.
Initial reports said that four attackers entered the building around 10 am and opened fire. A grenade attack was carried out at the entrance.
At least two civilians were killed in the attack and multiple were injured.
Police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said that five bodies and seven injured including policemen were brought to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital in Karachi.
Other reports said that four guards and a policeman were also martyred.
Police and Rangers’ officials arrived at the scene soon after the attack and killed all four attackers, Sindh Rangers said.
A clearance operation is underway in the vicinity. Weapons and hand grenades have been recovered from the attackers.
“An unfortunate incident took place at the Pakistan Stock Exchange,” said PSX director Abid Ali Habib. “They made their way from our parking area and opened fire on everyone.”
He said that the militants had stormed the Railway Ground parking area and fired outside the PSX ground. They made their way to the main gate of the building and stormed it after trading fire with security guards.
Habib said that the firing by militants caused panic among the people in the building.
The PSX building and surrounding areas were sealed by law enforcement agencies. People inside the PSX building were evacuated from the back door.
Police said the militants conducted the assault with sophisticated weapons and were carrying a bag filled with explosives.
Counter Terrorism Department’s (CTD) Raja Omar Khattab said that police would try to find out details about the car used by the attackers. “CCTV cameras are being monitored by law enforcement agencies to obtain clues.”
An earlier statement by the PSX said that its compound had been attacked by militants and that the “situation is still unfolding”.
“There was an attack on the PSX compound earlier today. The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation,” tweeted the PSX.
“We will issue a more detailed statement in due course once the situation is under control and more details are known,” it said in a subsequent tweet.
For now firing has stopped and reinforcement are in place, it added.
Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail condemned the attack.
“Strongly condemn the attack on PSX aimed at tarnishing our relentless war on terror,” he said, vowing to protect Sindh at all costs.
The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which was declared a global terrorist group by the United States (US) last year, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.