Armed men attacked the purse in the Pakistani city of Karachi, killing at least three people – two guards and a policeman, police said.
- The building is located in the heart of the city’s financial district
- Food was found on the bodies of armed men, indicating that they may have planned a siege
- Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for attack
Special police forces were deployed to the scene of the attack and secured the building during a rapid operation, killing the four gunmen.
There were no reports of injuries to brokers and employees inside the stock exchange and a separatist militant group from a neighboring province claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attackers were armed with grenades and automatic rifles, police said.
They launched the attack by opening fire at the entrance to the Pakistan Stock Exchange in the southern port city, the country’s financial center.
Heavily armed special forces quickly surrounded the building in the heart of the city’s financial district, home of the State Bank of Pakistan, as well as the headquarters of several national and international financial institutions.
Local television stations broadcast images of police in full armor surrounding the building but still outside the walls of the Stock Exchange.
Rizwan Ahmend, a police official at the scene, said that after opening fire, the gunmen entered the stock exchange grounds.
He said that after the attack ended, supplies were found on the bodies of the gunmen, indicating that they may have planned a long siege.
Inside the stock exchange, broker Yaqub Memon told the Associated Press that he and others were huddled in their offices while the attack was underway.
After the shooting ended and the gunmen were killed, the police gathered all the employees and brokers in one room while the security forces went floor by floor to make sure that no explosives had not been left, he said.
Shazia Jehan, a police spokesperson, said that the bomb disposal team had also been called to the stock exchange to clear the building of any explosive device.
The Balochistan Liberation Army later claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group has been waging an insurgency for years, demanding independence from the gas-rich province of Baluchistan in southwest Pakistan.
The group also distributed to the media a photograph of four men in full armor and camouflage uniforms, saying that it was the activists who attacked the purse.