Pakistan Stock Exchange attack

On 29 June 2020, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) militants attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building in Karachi with grenades and by firing indiscriminately. At least three security guards and a police sub-inspector were killed, while seven people were injured during the attack. Police reported that they killed all four attackers within 8 minutes.[1][2][3][4]

2020 Pakistan Stock Exchange attack
LocationKarachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Date29 June 2020 (2020-06-29)
10:02 am–10:10 am (PST, UTC+05:00)
TargetPakistan Stock Exchange
Attack type
Mass shooting, terror attack
WeaponsGrenades, automatic rifles
Deaths8 (including 4 perpetrators)
PerpetratorsBalochistan Liberation Army

Attack edit

On 29 June 2020, at 10:02 in the morning, a car carrying the attackers arrived at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on I. I. Chundrigar Road. By 10:10 am, all four attackers were killed by security forces, according to the director-general of the Sindh Rangers.[5] According to Rangers, the attackers aimed "not only to kill but to create a hostage situation".[6] Once controlled, security personnel carried out a clearance operation and normalcy was restored to the locality within 35 minutes.[5]

Militants armed with automatic rifles threw a grenade and then began firing at a security post outside the stock exchange. "They had come in a silver Corolla car," Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon later told Reuters.[7]

Guards fought back, killing all four attackers, the authorities say, but police officers and security personnel are among the casualties. The stock exchange director, Abid Ali Habib, said the gunmen made their way from the car park and "opened fire on everyone". Reports say most people managed to escape or hide in locked rooms. Those inside the building were evacuated from the back door, Geo News reported.[3]

One police officer and three security guards were among the casualties.[5] Among those injured in the attack were three policemen, two security guards and a stock exchange employee.[8] The injured were shifted to Civil Hospital.[3] Four bags were recovered from the scene which included four SMGs, hand grenades, weapons, water bottles and dates.[8]

Investigation edit

DG Rangers Sindh Major General Umar Bukhari said in a press conference that the "attack was not possible without the help of foreign intelligence agency".[9] According to the investigators, the mastermind of the attack is Bashir Zeb, the BLA's commander-in-chief, who is hiding in Afghanistan.[10]

According to Raja Umar Khattab of Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), three of the four attackers were identified through their fingerprints as Salman, Tasleem Baloch and Siraj, all of whom were residents of Kech District, Balochistan. The car was purchased by Salman from a showroom located at Old Sabzi Mandi in Karachi, as records indicate he paid cash and submitted his Computerised National Identity Card, and registered the card himself.[5] The car was clear as per the police record.[11] According to Khattab, the attackers drove from Lyari Expressway's Gharibabad interchange and used Mauripur Road before the attack.[5] The Gharibabad to Merewether Tower route was taken by the militants as identified through geofencing completed by the CTD. Militants took Lyari Expressway from Gharibabad to Maripur road and then from Tower and Custom House, they reached at PSX building.[12]

Two mobile phones, one a smartphone, were recovered from the militants. They were apparently getting directions from someone by voice call.[13]

Responsibility edit

A group identifying itself as the "Majeed Brigade" of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a terrorist organisation listed by Pakistan, the UK and the US, claimed responsibility for the attack through a Twitter account.[14][15] The spokesman also said that all the militants were suicide attackers.[16] However, the BLA spokesman claims could not be confirmed, and his Twitter account was soon suspended.[17]

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that India is activating sleeper cells in order to disrupt the peace in Pakistan.[18] Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security, Moeed Yusuf in a statement said "make no mistake, today’s attack in Karachi is state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan".[5] Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan told the Parliament that there was "no doubt that India is behind the attack", and said his cabinet "knew" for two months that there would be an attack.[14] Khan revealed that intelligence agencies had earlier foiled four terror attacks.[19]

India's Ministry of External Affairs, while responding to Pakistan's foreign minister, denied any involvement in the attack and said that "Unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi".[20][21]

Aftermath edit

The chief executive officer of a private security company in Pakistan stated that they will provide financial assistance to the families of security guards who were killed in the militant attack. Jafaria Disaster Management Cell (JDC), a welfare organisation, also announced that they will provide Rs 200,000 to the widows of the security guards who were killed in attack.[22]

Two policemen, Muhammad Rafiq Soomro and Constable Khalil Jatoi Baloch were hailed as heroes in Pakistan for their bravery. Inspector-General of Sindh Police announced a reward of Rs 2 million for the police team and stated that even when their officer was killed they continued fighting the militants to prevent them from entering into the PSX building.[23]

Reaction edit

The PSX did not halt trading during the attack.[5][24] The stock market closed at its usual timing. The KSE 100 Index recorded a gain of 242 points (0.71%) and closed at 34,181.80. However, for a moment due to early commotion, a sell-off started which pulled the index down to intra-day low by 220 points. Later, the benchmark also hit the intra-day high of 267 points.[25]

References edit

  1. ^ "Pakistan stock exchange in Karachi under attack, say police". The National. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Gunmen attack Karachi stock exchange building in Pakistan". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "'All terrorists killed,' police say after Pakistan Stock Exchange comes under gun and grenade attack". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  4. ^ Sophia Saifi. "Multiple people dead after attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange". CNN. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "All 4 terrorists killed in attempt to storm Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi: Rangers". Dawn. 29 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Gunmen Wage Deadly Battle at Pakistan Stock Exchange". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange, six killed: police". Reuters. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Karachi stock exchange attack: Sindh Rangers say four terrorists killed". Samaa TV.
  9. ^ "Mastermind of attack on PSX identified". Dunya News. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Security forces foil attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange, all four terrorists killed". Dunya News. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  11. ^ "کراچی میں پاکستان اسٹاک ایکسچینج پر حملہ ناکام، تمام دہشتگرد مارے گئے". Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Pakistan Stock Exchange Attack Foiled, Four Terrorists Killed in 8 Minutes". Europe, Africa, Middle East, Tribune, Breaking News, World News. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  13. ^ "پاکستان اسٹاک ایکسچینج پر حملے کا مقدمہ درج". Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Pakistan's Imran Khan blames India for stock exchange attack". DW. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Deadly gun attack on Pakistan stock exchange". BBC News. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  16. ^ Pakistan stock exchange attack: Baloch Liberation Army takes responsibility, 4 terrorists killed, 29 June 2020, India Today
  17. ^ Gunmen storm stock exchange in Pakistan's commercial capital; attack foiled, 29 June 2020, The Washington Post
  18. ^ "Armed men attack Pakistan stock exchange". The Guardian.
  19. ^ "Pakistan has 'no doubt' India staged PSX attack". The Express Tribune. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020. For the last two months, all our agencies have been on high alert. Four terrorist attacks have already been averted by the intelligence agencies.
  20. ^ "Pakistan Claiming India Link In Karachi Terror Attack Absurd: Foreign Ministry". NDTV. 30 June 2020.
  21. ^ Niazi, Shuriah (29 June 2020). "India slams Pakistan for linking it to terror attack". Anadolu Agency.
  22. ^ Private company announces financial aid to families of martyred security guards, 30 June 2020, Ary News
  23. ^ Attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi thwarted, 30 June 2020, The Nation
  24. ^ "Seven killed in gun attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange". The Express Tribune.
  25. ^ "Stocks rally despite terror attack on PSX building". Dawn.

External links edit