Forces foil terrorist bid to take over PSX
Statesman Report
KARACHI: Police said all four ‘terrorists’ who attacked the busy Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) around 10am on Monday morning had been killed by security personnel, with two security guards and a police sub-inspector martyred while repelling the attempt to storm the busiest building on Karachi’s I.I. Chundrigar Road, also known as Pakistan’s Wall Street.
Armed militants had arrived at the PSX compound in a sedan and attempted to enter it from the parking ground side, according to initial reports and eyewitness statements. They were seen shouldering backpacks and carrying automatic weaponry in an amateur video captured by an eyewitness. The equipment, arms and ammunition recovered from them indicated that they had come prepared for a long siege.
After failing to enter the compound, the militants launched a gun and grenade attack and attempted to storm the building while opening indiscriminate fire. They were engaged by security personnel posted and failed to make headway amidst heavy exchange of fire.
Initial reports indicate that all four of the militants were killed near the entrance gates, before they could enter the building. Two security guards and a police sub-inspector laid down their lives foiling the attack.
The entire locality was later cordoned off by security forces and a search and clear operation was launched. The PSX was evacuated and the car that the militants arrived in was taken into 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.
Militants came with aim to hold people hostage: DG Rangers Sindh
Major-General Omer Ahmed Bokhari, addressing a press conference in Karachi, said the four militants that came to the PSX, had intended to not only enter the building but also carry out violence and hold people hostage.
“Every terrorist was armed with weapons that included Ak-47s, hand grenades, rocket launchers. They were also carrying food and water,” he said.
Speaking about the entire operation, Maj Gen Bokhari said the four attackers were killed within eight minutes. He said that they carried out the attack at 10:02am and were gunned down at 10:10am.
“It was a combined effort with rangers, police and PSX security guards,” he said adding that the entire building was cleared within 25 minutes so that the routine activity of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was not affected.
Clearing the air about who was responsible for the attack, the DG said they were investigating and trying to identify the ‘gaps’. “We will find out what gaps were present due to which these militants came through and investigate them,” he added. He continued, “The PSX is an important symbol of economic activity hence the objective of these militants was to increase casualties here and hold hostages.”
“It was an attempt to send a message to the world that Pakistan is not safe. They wanted to damage Pakistan’s economic activity and harm investors’ confidence,” DG Rangers noted. He added, "I can guarantee you that this terrorist attack could not have taken place without a ‘hostile terrorist agency’ and number one on the list is RAW.”