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Pakistan mourns murdered singer in attack claimed by Taleban

People attend funeral of Pakistani Sufi singer Amjad Sabri (also inset) in Karachi, Pakistan on June 23. Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of a well-known Pakistani Sufi singer who was shot dead in the port city of Karachi in an attack claimed by Islamic extremists. (AFP/AP)
People attend funeral of Pakistani Sufi singer Amjad Sabri (also inset) in Karachi, Pakistan on June 23. Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of a well-known Pakistani Sufi singer who was shot dead in the port city of Karachi in an attack claimed by Islamic extremists. (AFP/AP)

Thousands of mourners crowded the funeral procession of a beloved Pakistani singer on Thursday, a day after he was gunned down in the port city of Karachi in an attack claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taleban. Amjad Sabri, 45, was one of South Asia’s most popular singers of the “qawwali”, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years. Devotees thronged the ambulance carrying Sabri’s body to the funeral, blocking its progress.

Sabri’s death was the latest in a highprofile series of attacks in Karachi, a megacity of 20 million plagued by political, ethnic and sectarian violence. Karachi’s murder rate has fallen sharply since 2013 after a crackdown by paramilitary Rangers, but new fears were stoked on Monday after the kidnapping of the son of Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

Two days later, gunmen on a motorcycle shot at the windscreen of Sabri’s moving car in the congested Liaquatabad area of the southern city, and a relative travelling with him was wounded. A spokesman for a branch of the Pakistani Taleban, Qari Saifullah Saif, claimed the killing late on Wednesday, saying it was in retaliation for a song that the hard-line group considers blasphemous. (RTRS)

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