Amjad Sabri, famed Sufi singer, gunned down in Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN)Amjad Sabri, one of Pakistan’s most well-known Sufi musicians, was gunned down Wednesday in the southern city of Karachi.

Sabri, 45, was the victim of what police are calling a targeted killing. Two assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on his car, firing 5 or 6 shots, according to Muqqadas Haider, a senior police official.
Sabri died of his injuries en route to the hospital, Haider told CNN. The singer was known for not having any political affiliations.


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Amjad Sabri belonged to the renowned Sabri family, members of the Chishti Sufi order and the most famous Qawwali group in the country. They had performed internationally and were known for their renditions of mystical Islamic poetry. Qawwali is a form of passionate, devotional Sufi music, specifically from South Asia.
A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, citing the type of music Sabri performs as “blasphemous.”


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The interior ministry has released a statement stating Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies will work together to track down Sabri’s killers.
Qawwali has flourished in the shrines of Sufi saints that are dotted across Pakistan. But the mystical, moderate form of Sufi Islam practiced there has become a target of militants in recent years.
Many Pakistanis took to social media to express outrage at the slaying, which took place during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar.
The killing also follows a spike in violence in Karachi, which is Pakistan’s largest and most populated city. A military operation to combat terrorism has been underway in the city since 2013.

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