KARACHI           -         Security personnel killed all four terrorists within 8 minutes as they tried to enter the Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi on Monday. Several people also wounded in the terror attack and they were shifted to local hospitals with multiple bullet injuries.

Officials late Monday confirmed that a police officer, three private security guards, and two passersby also lost their lives during the gun battle. The terrorists who reached the site on a private car were equipped with hand grenades and automatic assault rifles.

Sindh Rangers’ Director General Omer Ahmed Bukhari said that all the terrorists were eliminated within eight minutes. “The attackers arrived at the scene in a car at 10:02 am and they were killed by security forces by 10:10 am,” he said, adding the business activities were building was cleared and was restored within 35 minutes after clearance operation from the security personnel.

Security forces successfully foiled the terror attack targeting country’s largest Stock Exchange in the port city. All four attackers were gunned down before entering the premises. A sub-inspector of police department identified as Muhammad Shah and three private security guards were also among the martyred. Two passers-by also died during the gunfire and their bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital and SMBB Trauma Centre in Karachi.

CCTV footage and eye-witnesses account reveals four terrorists brazenly came out of their vehicle at the entrance of the stock exchange building at II-Chundrigar Road in Karachi. The attackers opened fire and hurled hand grenades at private security guards and policemen as the Rapid Response Force of the Sindh police retaliated with full force.

One of the policemen, Rafiq Soomro, who fought at the frontline and gunned down terrorists at the gate of the PSX, recounted the entire episode. “I was performing duty at the main gate of PSX building when suddenly four terrorists came out and opened fire on us,” he said. “A sub-inspector of police and private security guards sustained wounds as we responded to the fire,” he said.

Rafiq said that he had killed one of the terrorists as he tried to enter the building from the main gate.

“The three other terrorists also tried to enter into the building and one of them tried to throw a grenade but I immediately shot him on the head and injured two remaining terrorists,” the policeman said while praising Constable Khalil who put up resistance and bravely foiled the terror attack. He said that all terrorists were wearing bulletproof jackets.

Sindh Inspector-General of Police has announced a reward of Rs 2 million for the police team and said that even when their officer was gunned down the subordinates continued fighting the terrorists to stop their entry into the PSX building.

A separatist group identified as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), has claimed responsibility of the attack.  The terror outfit identified the four attackers as Salman Jamal, Shahzad Baloch, Tasleem Baloch and Siraj. 

Incharge CTD Raja Umar Khattab said that one of the terrorists was identified as Salman and was a resident of Balochistan province. The vehicle used in the attack was also registered in his name and was purchased from a showroom in Karachi at the Karsaz area.

DG Rangers, AIG Karachi holds joint presser:

The DG Rangers said that attackers, equipped with assault rifles, hand grenades, and food packets, had planned a long assault that included bloodshed and holding people inside the building hostage.

Bukhari while quoting an online a message attributed to Balochistan Liberation Army said that apparently it was carried out by them. However, an inquiry into the incident would reveal any other motives of the attack.

He also blamed the Indian intelligence agency RAW, for being behind the attack and said that such attacks are not stand-alone incidents and cannot take place without the aid of external 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.

Bukhari said that the militants had 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.

Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Nabi Memon 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,”