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Separate Terrorist Attacks Hit Iran And Pakistan

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Separate Terrorist Attacks Hit Iran And Pakistan

The Pakistan Stock Exchange

Four terrorists attacked the stock exchange in Karachi on Monday, killing three security guards and a police officer and wounding several others. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused India of being behind the attack. In Iran, a roadside bomb hit two Revolutionary Guard vehicles in the southeast of the country on Tuesday, but no one was killed in the attack.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in an address to the Pakistani parliament on Tuesday that he had no doubt that India was behind the raid on the building housing the Pakistan Stock Exchange, which is located in a high-security zone of Karachi, a day earlier.

A group of heavily armed assailants attempted to storm the headquarters of Pakistan’s largest stock exchange on Monday, using firearms and grenades. The assailants threw grenades and opened fire on a security post outside the building, killing three guards and a police officer. Several others were injured in the attack.

Security forces, however, managed to kill all the four gunmen involved in the assault before they could enter the building.

The ‘Baloch Liberation Army’, which operates in Pakistan’s south-western province of Balochistan, later claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, Pakistani officials are convinced that India was involved in organizing the attack. Prime Minister Khan stated in parliament:

“What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same [in Karachi]; they wanted to spread uncertainty. We have no doubt this was done by India,” the premier said, referring to the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which more than 160 people were killed.

He praised a police sub-inspector and three security guards who lost their lives while thwarting the attack on the PSX as the “heroes of Pakistan”.

“They gave sacrifices and thwarted a major incident, which was planned by India to destabilise us,” he said, adding that the attackers had a lot of ammunition and they wanted to take hostages.

“My cabinet and its ministers know that all our agencies were on high alert. Our agencies preempted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad.” LINK

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also blamed New Delhi for involvement in the assault, alleging the attack was carried out by sleeper cells activated by India.

India has denied involvement.

“Unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava in a statement after the attack. LINK

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Iran, a local commander of the Revolutionary Guards was wounded in the explosion in Sistan and Baluchistan province, Fadahossein Maleki, a parliamentarian from the city of Zahedan in the province, told IRIB news agency.

He said the Sunni militant group, Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), had issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

In February 2019, the group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack against a bus carrying members of the Guards which killed 27 people. Jaish al Adl claims that it seeks improved rights and living conditions for ethnic minority Baluchis in eastern Iran. LINK

The attack follows a succession of large explosions in the country, the latest occurring at a medical facility in the north of Teheran yesterday which caused at least19 deaths which was attributed by authorities to a fire that caused gas canisters stored in the building’s basement to explode. LINK

There was also a large explosion at a location east of Teheran described in media reports as a suspected missile site earlier this week. Images from a Sentinel-2 satellite showed an area with hundreds of metres of charred scrubland not seen in images of the area taken in the weeks prior to the incident. The gas storage area is located near what analysts describe as Iran’s Khojir missile facility. Iranian authorities claimed that the June 26 incident was a gas explosion.

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