4 terrorists killed in attempt to storm Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi: Rangers


A police sub inspector and three security guards were killed as law enforcement and security agencies successfully thwarted a brazen attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday by at least four heavily armed militants.
According to Siuth Punjab News.com, the four militants had arrived in a sedan and attempted to storm the PSX compound from its parking side while  indiscriminately firing and lobbing grenades.
An Additional IG of Police confirmed that the four were killed and the attack had been "successfully thwarted", while a spokesperson for the Sindh Rangers added that a clearance operation was launched after the active threat was neutralised.
Meanwhile, DIG South Sharjeel Kharal informed that the attackers had come heavily equipped with modern weaponry and had entered the building from the parking area of the PSX, a fact which was corroborated by an eyewitness.
DIG Kharal said a bomb disposal squad has been called to search and clear the area. He added that the police have taken the car in which the accused arrived at the stock exchange in their custody.
SP City Muqadas said seven people wounded in the attack had been shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi. He added, apart from those martyred, a policeman injured in the incident was being treated at the hospital.
Director Pakistan Stock Exchange and an eyewitness to the attack, Abid Ali Habib, said that the militants had stormed the Railway Ground parking area and fired outside the ground of the PSX. Habib said that the firing by militants had caused panic among the people in the building.
'Terrorists had planned a long fight'
In charge of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Raja Umar Khatab said that the terrorists had planned for a long fight as a part of their mission.
According to Khatab, they did not find any suicide jackets on the terrorists and their mission was not to return alive during the attack. He added that the items seized from terrorist’s had water and edibles on them.
PSX to issue detailed report
The Pakistan Stock exchange has also confirmed that the firing has stopped and the The PSX shared that they will issue a more detailed statement once the "details are known".
"For now firing has stopped and reinforcement are in place," said the PSX.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of PSX Farrukh Khan told Geo News that the incident was “very unfortunate” but thankfully the PSX’s security arrangements and planning done by them was “effective” in thwarting the attack.
Khan said that the PSX’s guards were successful in stopping the attackers from entering the building till police and rangers responded to the incident.
The MD PSX also shared that the staff at the building was less than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic as many people were working remotely.
“I cannot give an exact figure [on how many people were in the building] but the Stock exchange compound has two main areas. One is the PSX building and has its staff due to COVID-19 were working remotely as far as possible. Staff was there but it was less than normal,” said the MD. He added that on normal days 6,000 to 8,000 people entered the compound but it was very less these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Khan repeated that even despite the pandemic there were a lot of people inside the compound, adding that if the terrorists were not held back at the gate then the situation could have turned worse.
The MD also shared that one of the attackers came inside the compound for some steps but he was neutralised before he could come further by the PSX’s security team and security personnel.
Khan also shared that trading was not affected by the attack and continued even during the attack and was still underway. He also clarified that the PSX had not received any kind of threat about an imminent attack.
PM Imran condemns incident, CM Shah seeks detailed report
Prime Minister Imran Khan has also condemned the attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange and lauded the security agencies for bravely fighting the attackers and successfully thwarting their attack.
The PM also shared his condolences with the deceased and prayed for the successful recovery for the injured.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has condemned the incident and asked for a detailed report of the incident.
Shah said that enemies of the country want to take advantage of the situation created by the pandemic and directed all law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant. The CM also lauded the police and rangers for the quick action.
On the other hand, Governer Sindh Imran Ismail, while the attack was ongoing, had tweeted that he had instructed the Inspector General of police and security agencies to catch the militants alive.
"We shall protect Sindh at all costs," the governor had tweeted while condemning the attack
"There was an attack on the PSX compound earlier today. The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation," said the PSX in a tweet.

'Eight-minute operation'

Sindh Rangers Director General Omer Ahmed Bukhari, during a press conference, said that the terrorists were eliminated within eight minutes. He told reporters that the attackers arrived at the scene in a car at 10:02am and they were killed by security forces by 10:10am.
Once the attackers were killed, security personnel 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.
Sindh Rangers Director General Omer Ahmed Bukhari addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV
Sindh Rangers Director General Omer Ahmed Bukhari addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV
The DG said 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, saying that such attacks are not "stand-alone incidents" and cannot take place without the aid of "outside intelligence agencies".
"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 triumph 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.
Bukhari said that the militants may have wanted to show that they have the ability to target high-profile places but they had been humiliated because they were eliminated within minutes. The Sindh Rangers DG said that investor confidence in the country had increased.

Trading ongoing

Rescue services at the site of the attack. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali
Rescue services at the site of the attack. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali
PSX Board Chairman Sulaiman S. Mehdi said "trading didn't close even for a minute".
"There is no doubt that this was a terrorist attack. I want to thank the security guards who embraced martyrdom for their service. The response of police and security forces was unbelievable. Our personal guards deterred the terrorists until police came in; they were not allowed to enter the building at all," said Mehdi.
Around 1:20pm, the benchmark index at the PSX was up 0.31pc or 104 points at 34,044.
PSX Managing Director Farrukh Khan termed the attack "unfortunate" and praised the security forces for their timely response. While speaking to Geo News, 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 said that the terrorists were intercepted outside the entrance and only one of them had entered the compound, and that too "only a few steps". None of them entered the trading hall or the building, said Khan, adding that trading had not stopped and was still continuing.
Security personnel seen at the PSX entrance following the attack. — Photo: Shahzeb Ahmed
Security personnel seen at the PSX entrance following the attack. — Photo: Shahzeb Ahmed
Following the attack at PSX, Islamabad Inspector General Mohammad Amir Zulfiqar Khan issued a security high alert and directed all senior officials to remain at their zones. Checking at all entry and exit points of the city has been increased and citizens have been told to cooperate with the police.
He instructed senior officials to personally check security arrangements and present their reports.

FM Qureshi, SAPM Yusuf point finger at India

While strongly condemning the attack, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a statement paid tribute to the security personnel who lost their lives.
He suggested that India was involved in the deadly attack, recalling that he had stated after an attack in Waziristan that New Delhi had activated its "sleeper cells" in the country. The circumstances of today's attack, if examined, "will lead to the same sleeper cells", Qureshi added.
"India cannot tolerate peace in Pakistan," the minister said, adding that India was involved in the attack on Pakistani troops as well.
He said India was being "exposed" before the world, including through its confrontation with China in Ladakh and its oppression of people in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Qureshi said Pakistani agencies are "fully alert" to all threats. "We will foil all Indian strategies [and] further expose it in front of the world," he added.

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South Punjab News : 4 terrorists killed in attempt to storm Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi: Rangers
4 terrorists killed in attempt to storm Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi: Rangers
terrorists were eliminated within eight minutes. He told reporters that the attackers arrived at the scene in a car at 10:02am and they were killed by security forces by 10:10am.
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South Punjab News
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