At least six people died, including a police officer, when Four armed men entered the Karachi Stock Exchange, the financial capital of Pakistan, on Monday in the south of the country, in an attack claimed by an independence group from the neighboring province of Baluchistan.
The assailants, of whom at least two they were dressed in western styleAccording to photos of their bodies taken by AFP, they arrived in front of the building by car, threw grenades and started firing, said Ghulam Nabi Memon, the Karachi police chief.
“Around 10 (local time, 5 GMT), They tried to enter the building. But they were intercepted on the fence in frontOf the building, he told the AFP Ahmed Chinoy, a member of the steering committee of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, where the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges are located.
“Four guards and a civilian were killed”, as well as a police officer, “in a terrorist attack with a grenade and a rifle” against the Stock Exchange, the police said in a statement..
The Edhi Foundation, Karachi’s main relief organization, for its part reported seven dead and seven wounded, according to its manager, Faisal Edhi.
“Failed Attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange” (PSX) said analyst Mohammed Sohail on Twitter. “Transactions go smoothly and continue. The PSX benchmark is one of the most effective in Asia so far. It is the resilience of Pakistan,” he said.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed on Twitter the attack committed by members of the Si Majeed Brigade, a unit of Kamikaze fighters that claimed to have taken “control of the area” for a time. The BLA published a photo of four young men dressed as soldiers and with kaláshnikov rifles in a desert landscape and assured that they were the authors of the “suicide attack” against the Stock Exchange.
The province of Baluchistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, is the largest and poorest in Pakistan despite its hydrocarbons and minerals.
It is also the most unstable, and in recent years the separatist insurrection movement and violence by Islamist groups have caused hundreds of deaths.
The BLA has already committed other attacks on symbols of what it considers the spoliation of its resources by the government of Pakistan.
In recent years, the group has attacked the interests of China, which made large investments in Pakistan within the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which includes the deepwater port of Gwadar, in Balochistan. That same group claimed responsibility for the assault on the The Asian giant’s consulate in Karachi in 2018, which killed seven people.
The attack on the Karachi stock exchange took place ten days after the launch of a grenade against a waiting line in a social aid office, which caused one death and eight injuries.
After a decade of violence in Pakistan, where there were almost daily attacks, violence has been reduced considerably in the country and attacks such as that of the Stock Exchange are now exceptional.
The port city of Karachi knew for years of a strong crime, but lately it was safer due to a significant presence of the security forces.
(With information from AFP)