Karachi | At least six people are dead, including a police officer, when four armed men have attempted to enter Monday in the Karachi stock Exchange (South), the financial capital of Pakistan, an attack claimed by a group seeking independence from the neighboring province of Balochistan.
The assailants, at least two of whom were dressed to the west, according to photos of their bodies taken by the AFP, arrived in a sedan in front of the building, on which they threw a grenade before opening fire, said Ghulam Nabi Memon, the head of the police of Karachi.
“Around 10 p.m. (5 p.m. GMT), they have attempted to enter the building. But they were intercepted at the barrier in front of” the building, said to AFP, Ahmed Chinoy, a member of the steering committee of the stock Exchange of the Pakistan, which includes the seats of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
“Four guards and a civilian were killed, as well as a police officer, in this “terrorist” attack, said police in a press release, which also injured three people in its ranks.
The foundation Edhi, the main relief organization in Karachi, has identified seven people dead and as many injured, said the AFP’s manager Faisal Edhi.
“Failed attempt on the stock Exchange of Pakistan” (PSX), commented an analyst, Mohammed Sohail, on Twitter. “The transactions take place smoothly and continue. The benchmark index PSX is one of the most efficient of Asia to this day. It is the resilience of Pakistan.”
The Balochistan liberation Army (BLA) has claimed on Twitter that the attack committed by elements of his “Brigade ” Majeed” is a unit of fighters and suicide bombers, that it was a time “took control of the area.”
She then shared a photo of four young men dressed in fatigues color sand and holding Kalashnikov rifle in a desert landscape, according to the authors of “the suicide attack” of the day.
Bordering Afghanistan and Iran, Baluchistan is the largest and poorest province in Pakistan, despite its deposits of hydrocarbons and minerals. It is also the most unstable: an uprising of separatist violence and the islamists have made hundreds of deaths in recent years.
The BLA is not his first attack against the symbols of what it sees as the plundering of its resources by Islamabad.
This group was referred to several times in the past few years chinese interests, while Beijing is investing heavily in Pakistan in the framework of the economic Corridor China-Pakistan (CTPC), including the deep water port of Gwadar (Balochistan) is the flagship.
This project aims to link the western province of Xinjiang to the port of Gwadar. Many infrastructure – highways, power plants, hospitals, etc – must be built within this framework. The CTPC will give chinese products a direct access to the Arabian sea.
In may 2019, the BLA had attacked a luxury hotel overlooking the port of Gwadar, killing five dead and six wounded. In November 2018, he had claimed an attack on the consulate of China in Karachi by armed men.
The attack on the Karachi stock Exchange comes ten days after a grenade was launched in the city on a queue in front of a welfare office, killing one person and injuring eight others.
After a decade of bloody, during which the attacks were daily, the violence is very sharply in Pakistan. Such attacks are the exception when they were previously the norm.
The port city of Karachi, which for years has been plagued by a high crime rate, is now far more secure after a takeover of the territory by the security forces.