news 7 months ago

Gunmen Stage Deadly Attack at Stock Exchange

Newser — Jenn Gidman

The death toll is still murky, but an attack Monday on a Pakistan stock exchange building in the country's largest city has left multiple people dead and several injured.

The BBC reports the attack started in Karachi when four gunmen wielding automatic rifles drove up in a silver Toyota Corolla, lobbed a grenade, then started shooting at security personnel who tried to stop them from entering the building.

They "opened fire on everyone," says Abid Ali Habib, the director of the PSX. Employees inside holed up in locked rooms or were evacuated out a back entrance.

"We were all terrified," Habib tells Al Jazeera. "There was gunfire ... and suddenly everyone was rushing to the windows to see what [was] happening."

The AP reports that special police forces quickly converged on the scene in Karachi's financial district and killed all four gunmen, who never made it onto the trading floor.

A police official says food was found on the gunmen's bodies, suggesting their plan may have been to hunker down in the building for an extended period.

Claiming responsibility for the ambush was the Balochistan Liberation Army, a terror group that has carried out similar attacks in Pakistan. At least one policeman and two security guards were said to have been killed, though reports from the Indian Express and the Hindustan Times note even more guard fatalities.

Although thousands are typically in the building during the workweek, the usual number has been much lower lately due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trading never stopped during the attack.

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This article originally appeared on Newser: Gunmen Stage Deadly Attack at Stock Exchange