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Popular Pakistani Sufi singer shot dead in ‘act of terror’: Police

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One of Pakistan’s popular Sufi musician has been shot dead by unknown assailants riding a motorcycle in Karachi, triggering an outpouring of grief over what police described as an “act of terror”.

Amjad Sabri, 45, was travelling by car from his home in the city’s eastern Korangi area to a television studio, when a motorcycle pulled up alongside the vehicle and the attackers opened fire, Farooq Sanjarani, a police officer said.

Sabri was hit by five bullets and was declared dead at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while a companion, named as a relative, Saleem Sabri, was in critical condition, a hospital source added.

“It was a targeted killing and an act of terrorism,” Muqaddas Haider, a senior police officer said, without naming possible suspects.

Grisly mobile phone footage of the scene of the crime shot by an onlooker showed the singer’s head slumped on his right shoulder and a pool of blood on the ground by the driver’s side where he sat.

Sabri was a “Qawwal”, or singer of Qawwali, which is a traditional form of Islamic devotional music that is popular across South Asia with roots tracing back to the 13th century.

The music is closely associated with Sufism, a mystical sect of Islam that is viewed as heretical by hardline groups such as the Taliban.

The Taliban and other Islamist groups have carried out major attacks on Sufi mosques and shrines in recent years, including the 2010 bombing of the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore that killed more than 40 people.

Bullet holes in the windscreen of a car driven by Amjad Sabri.

AFP

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Nirmala Panta’s murder accused held after 24 days

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KANCHANPUR — Police in Kanchanpur have made public an accused arrested in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality.

Dilip Singh Bista, 41, of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality was made public at a press conference at the DPO. Bista was arrested on Saturday,according to the District Police Office Spokesperson Deputy Superintendent of Police Gyan Bahadur Sethi.

Nirmala was found dead in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

Bista,who was released from prison last year after serving nine years for murdering his brother-in-law Narayansingh Thapa, works as a daily-wage labourer.

According to Bista’s statement to police, he helped Nirmala fix her bicycle chain before raping and killing her on July 26. He told police that killed her to avoid being arrested again.

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