11/08/2016, 09.30
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Karachi, two Islamic militants arrested for murdering Sufi "rockstar"

The perpetrators belong to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, already responsible for other attacks on the Shia minority. Amjad Sabri was assassinated in June because one of his songs had been adapted and contained comments denigrating Islam. His crime was to "attend" the Shiites.


Karachi (AsiaNews) - Pakistani anti-terrorism agents have arrested two Islamic militants in Karachi on charges of murdering Amjad Sabri, one of the most famous Sufi singers in the world. Ishaq alias Bobby and Asim alias Capri. Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh province, said that the two men belong to the Islamist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and were involved in 28 other cases of violence, particularly against police men and members of the Shiite minority.

The arrest took place yesterday in the town of Liaquatabad, the same one where last June Sabri was killed, while traveling in his car along with a relative, who also died of his injuries. In the hideout a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and grenades was found.

Sabri was one of the greatest exponents of Sufi music tradition, called Qawwali. It is an ancient art of singing dating back 700 years, of which his family is among the most famous exponentsin the world.

After the attack, Hakimullah Mehsud militants, a cell affiliated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the murder of the singer, who is accused of being "blasphemous". In fact, in 2014 he was involved in a legal dispute for blasphemy. One of his songs had been superimposed on another track which contained comments mocking Mohammed's relatives, but the rock star had dissociated himself from the musical initiative.

The chief minister of Sindh revealed that Capri, one of the killers, knew the musician because he was a neighbor of his. According to the politician, there was no specific reasons behind the violence, rather it was "sectarian, given that Sabri usually attended the majalis (religious community of the Shia minority)".

The LeJ group has roots in Punjab province and in the past has made numerous attacks in Balochistan, particularly against the Shiites. In late October, the terrorist group carried out one of the most brutal massacres in Pakistan against the military school in Quetta, which killed 61 people including cadets and guards.

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