KARACHI: Renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri was shot dead in Karachi Wednesday afternoon, after unknown assailants fired at his vehicle in the city's Liaquatabad area.
Qari Saifullah Mehsud, spokesperson for the TTP Hakimullah Mehsud group, has accepted responsibility for the attack.
Additional Inspector General Mushtaq Mehar said two men riding a motorcycle fired shots at the car, terming the incident as “targeted killing.” He said the motive of the killing is unknown as of now.
Sabri, 45, and an associate were travelling in a car in Liaquatabad 10 area, when unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle, critically injuring him. The two were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed hospital immediately, where Sabri succumbed to his injuries.
"Two riders used 30-bore pistols to shoot Sabri five times, the bullet to the head took the qawwal's life. The attackers took the Hassan Square route to escape," said DIG West.
"We have cordoned off the area and will arrest the culprits using all our resources," added the DIG.
Police officials recovered five 30-bore casings from the scene of the attack, which have been sent for forensics.
Both front side windows were shattered and three bullet holes could be seen on the front screen.
Ghulam Ahmed, an eye witness said he saw two motorcycle riding men fire shots at one side of the car. “Then they turned and fired four shots on the other side of the car.”
Additional police surgeon Dr Rohina Hasan confirmed Sabri's demise. He was shot thrice – twice in the head and once in the leg – police sources said.
Senior Director Health Services Abbasi Shaheed Hospital also confirmed that Sabri was declared dead on arrival.
Fakhre Alam, Chairman of Sindh Censor Board, has claimed in a tweet that Sabri had earlier submitted an application for security, but the home department did not act on it.
However, an official source claimed the home department had received no such request. SSP Central also stated he is not aware of any such request.
Amjad Sabri was one of the country’s finest qawwals, known for his soul-stirring renditions of mystic poetry. He enthralled music aficionados with his brand of spirituality, mysticism and ecstasy for years. He was not only well-versed with the structure and aesthetics of qawwali but also knew how to make it adaptive to the contemporary music keeping its essence alive.