Gunmen have attacked the Pakistan stock exchange in the city of Karachi and the four assailants were killed along with two security guards and a police officer in the operation to secure the complex, police have said.
The gunmen attacked the stock exchange grounds, in Pakistan’s financial capital, with grenades and guns on Monday morning. The building is in a high-security zone and also houses the head offices of many private banks.
“Four attackers have been killed, they had come in a silver Corolla car,” Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Reuters.
Shazia Jehan, a police spokesman, said the bomb disposal squad had also been called and was trying to clear the building of explosive devises.
The sound of gunfire could be heard in multiple videos shared online as the attack unfolded.
Local television stations showed police in full body armour surrounding the building outside the high walled compound of the stock exchange.
Rizwan Ahmend, a police officer at the scene, said food supplies were found on the bodies of the gunmen, indicating they may have planned a long siege.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Pakistan has long been plagued by Islamist militant violence but attacks have become less frequent in recent years.
The attack began when the gunmen threw a grenade and opened fire on a security post outside the building and the four were killed when security forces inside responded, police said.
Inside the stock exchange, broker Yaqub Memon said he and others were huddled inside their offices.
The Karachi stock exchange is Pakistan’s largest and oldest stock exchange.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.