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Seven killed as militants storm stock exchange

Swift: Special forces killed the gunmen

A GROUP of militants tried to storm the Pakistan stock exchange yesterday, killing three people before being gunned down themselves.

The four men opened fire at the entrance gate of the building in Karachi before making it into the grounds. However, police special forces were quickly on the scene and took out the assailants.

The Baloch Liberation Army, a militant group from the region neighbouring Karachi’s own Sindh province, claimed responsibility for the attack that left two security guards and a policeman dead.

Another guard was said to be in a critical condition. Police official Rizwan Ahmed said the gunmen had more than a dozen hand grenades, boxes of ammunition and several automatic rifles. They also had food supplies — indicating they were ready for a long siege.

Stockbroker Yaqub Memon said he and others were huddled inside their offices during the gun battle.

After the attackers were killed, police gathered all the employees and brokers in a single room while security forces scoured the building floor by floor to ensure no explosives had been left behind.

■ CHILDREN were among at least 23 people killed in a car bomb and mortar attack on a busy market in Afghanistan yesterday. The Afghan military said Taliban insurgents targeted the civilians in Sangin district, Helmand. However, the insurgents blame the military. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the ‘brutal and inhumane act’ and called on the Taliban to start peace talks that have stalled over a prisoner swap deal.