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Illustration by Security Management

Terrorists Attack Pakistan’s Stock Exchange

On Monday, four heavily armed separatists were stopped at a security checkpoint at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in the country’s largest city of Karachi. The assailants attacked the outpost by throwing a grenade and unleashing a torrent of gunfire. Two security guards and one law enforcement officer were killed. An intense but short gun battle ensued, and all four terrorists were killed before gaining entry to the building. Several people with injuries were taken to local hospitals.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) used Twitter to claim responsibility for the attack.

Pakistani officials said that in addition to being heavily armed, the attackers had food and water, apparently in preparation to take hostages inside the building and create a lengthy siege situation. No one inside the building was harmed and trading on the exchange did not stop.

According to Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, the BLA “is a Baloch ethnonationalist militant organization fighting against the Pakistani government for greater regional autonomy for the province of Balochistan.” The southwest province of Balochistan borders Iran, Afghanistan, and the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a release describing the attack was “state-sponsored terrorism” and implicated India, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan followed up by saying “there is no doubt that India is behind the attack.” India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied the link and rebuked Pakistan for the allegation.