A gun and grenade attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi has killed at least two people and injured three.
Law enforcement agencies have gunned down all four militants, according to officials.
The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation, said the PSX.
“We will issue a more detailed statement in due course once the situation is under control and more details are known. For now, firing has stopped and reinforcement is in place,” added the official PSX twitter account.
Update 11:15 am: Spokesperson paramilitary Rangers say all attackers of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) have been killed and “operation clearance is underway”. According to police sources, four terrorists attacked the PSE by hurling hand grenades and later resorting to firing.’
Update 11:30 am: A Twitter account allegedly belonging to the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack.
Update 11:35 am:
Pakistan Stock Exchange rejects terrorism, Market Recovers
While the incident took place, the trading at the Pakistan Stock Exchange didn’t stop. A.A.H Soomro, managing director at Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Securities said that the index recovered from losses and did not surrender.
Pakistan Stock Exchange rejects terrorism: Index recovers losses & does not surrender, inshaAllah.
— A A H Soomro (@AAHSoomro) June 29, 2020
Update 11:55 am: According to local media reports, five bodies and seven injured, including policemen, have been brought at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
Update 12:05 pm: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah lauded the immediate action taken by police and Rangers. He said that the attack was related to an attack on national security and the economy of the country.
“Anti-state elements want to take advantage of the virus situation,” he added.
Update 12:15 pm: PSX Managing Director Farrukh Khan lauded the security forces for their timely response.
While talking to a local media outlet, he said the number of people in the compound was lower than normal (usually close to 6,000) since many employees were working from home due to Covid-19.
He added that the terrorists were intercepted outside the entrance and only one of them had entered the compound, and that also “only a few steps”.
Khan stated that none of them entered the trading hall or the building, and added that trading had not stopped and was still continuing.
Update 1:10 pm: Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the terrorist attack on the PSX. He said that the whole nation is proud of the soldiers who bravely fought against the terrorists.
“Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan condemns the terrorist attack on the Karachi Stock Exchange. The security forces bravely fought the enemy and thwarted the attack,” PTI’s Shahbaz Gill said in a tweet.
وزیراعظم پاکستان عمران خان کی کراچی سٹاک ایکسچینج پر دہشت گردی کہ حملہ کی مذمت- سیکورٹی اداروں کے جوانوں نے بہادری سے دشمن کا مقابلہ کیا اور اس حملہ کو ناکام بنایا۔ پوری قوم کو اپنے بہادر جوانوں پر فخر ہے۔ شہداء کے لواحقین سے دلی ہمدردی اور زخمیوں کی صحتیابی کے لئیے دعا گو ہوں-
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) June 29, 2020
Update 2:46 pm: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet said that foreign hands and planning of a network similar to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s are involved in this attack. He said that an investigation of the incident must be held from every angle.
کراچی اسٹاک ایکسچینج حملے کی ہر پہلو سے تحقیقات ہونی چاہئیں، اس حملے میں بیرونی ہاتھ ملوث ہے اور کلبھوشن یادیو جیسے نیٹ ورک کی پلاننگ شامل ہے، قانون نافذ کرنے والےاداروں کی شاندار کارکردگی نے بڑے نقصان سے بچایا، #سلام_پاکستان
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 29, 2020
Update 4:25 pm: China has condemned the terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi and expressed its firm support to Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism and upholding national security and stability.
“We firmly oppose any form of terrorism and firmly support Pakistan’s efforts in combating terrorism and upholding national security and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing while responding to a question about the terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi.
He also extended condolences to those injured and families of the victims, adding, “We condemn all forms of terrorist attacks and we also mourn the victims of this incident.”
Update 4:30 pm: During a press briefing, Sindh Rangers Director General Omer Ahmed Bukhari said that the terrorists were eliminated within eight minutes. He said that that a combined operation by security agencies started at 10:02 am and the attackers were killed by 10:10 am.
Once the attackers were killed, security forces carried out a clearance operation and normalcy was restored to the area within 30-35 minutes.
He said that the terrorists had planned a long assault, that included bloodshed and holding people inside the building hostage. All the attackers were equipped with AK47s, hand grenades and food. He further added that a tweet had been posted in which the attack has been attributed to the Balochistan Liberation Army outfit, adding that a final statement on it will be issued after investigation.
In response to a question, the DG acknowledged that the attack bore similarities to an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi that was carried out by BLA militants in 2018.
Bukhari added that the possibility of the involvement of foreign agencies, especially India’s Research and Analysis Wing, cannot be ruled out.
“Straightaway, I can assure you that this terrorist incident cannot have taken place without [the help of an] outside agency. And among them, RAW’s frustration is apparent to all of you,” he said.
Responding to a question, Bukhari denied the suggestion that the attack represented an intelligence failure, adding that security forces’ response was “in place” and the militants “could not achieve any of their motives”.
Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon also backed Bukhari’s statement, saying that since the attack on Chinese consulate, there have been other attempts that were foiled by security agencies. He said that it was a victory for the country’s security forces as they had responded promptly and thwarted the motives of the attackers.
“We were prepared when they came, we had a good response, we had good coordination with intelligence,” he said
Update 7:10 pm: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has issued a press release in which it has mentioned PSX was the target of a terrorist attack this morning. The situation was brought under control as security forces, including Police and Rangers, dealt with the situation effectively and very quickly.
Four heavily armed terrorists attempted to enter Pakistan Stock Exchange premises this morning at about 10:02 am. The attackers were stopped from entering the premises of the Exchange. The security forces including guards, police and Rangers dealt with the situation bravely, skillfully and in a timely manner.
In the exchange of fire, all the terrorists were killed. Two security personnel were injured while three personnel including two private security guards and one ASI lost their lives in the line of duty. The situation was brought under control within about 12 minutes, added the press release.
Throughout this turmoil the Stock Market continued to operate normally and trading continued. Protocols in place were followed and the management took necessary measures to ensure that the Exchange continued to function normally.
MD PSX, Mr. Farrukh Khan, speaking about the incident said,
Pakistan Stock Exchange, a National Institution of the country, is an important symbol of the economy. Any attack on this institution is an attempt to damage the economy and scare away investors from Pakistan. I am thankful and applaud our courageous security personnel including the Rangers and Police who reached the scene within no time and successfully and skillfully dealt with the terrorists. They brought the situation under control and no terrorist was able to reach the PSX buildings. All staff, TREC-holders and investors, who were present at the premises, are safe”.
He further stated, “I am proud that throughout the COVID-19 lockdown and now this extreme situation brought about by the attack, The Stock Exchange continued to function normally and did not close for even a minute. I want to acknowledge the calm bravery of the PSX team, brokers and investors in continuing to work under very difficult circumstances. PSX has robust protocols and processes in place that have allowed the Exchange to continue functioning under such extreme conditions.”.