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Stock exchange building attacked in Pakistan

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At least seven people have been killed in an attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in the country’s financial hub of Karachi, officials said.

The dead included a policeman, two guards and the four attackers, rescue service chief Faisal Edhi told Al Jazeera yesterday. Seven others were wounded, including at least two policemen.

The gunmen attacked the building with grenades and guns. The building is in a high-security zone and also houses the head offices of many private banks.

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“Two [attackers] were killed at the gate, and two of them went inside in an injured state and were then killed there,” Edhi said, speaking to reporters close to the site of the attack in Karachi’s main business district.

Abid Habib, director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, was in his office when the attack started. He told the local media he is holed up with 20 other staff members as paramilitary officers clear the building.

“At 10am (05:00 GMT), one car came ins ide the building [complex] and by force they entered the building and randomly started firing,” he said.

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“There was gunfire… and suddenly everyone was rushing to the windows to see what is happening. Because the firing was close by, everyone was very worried and we closed our outside doors.”

Local media aired visuals showing law enforcement agencies clearing the area after intermittent gunfire and explosions were heard from the premises.

More than 1,000 traders and staff were present in the building at the time of attack, according to the reports. — Al Jazeera

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