Army officer among three killed in attack on Sufi shrine in Pakistan

In a deadly sectarian attack, three people, including a senior Pakistani army officer, were killed and seven others injured after gunmen opened indiscriminate fire at a Sufi shrine in Punjab province.

Lahore: In a deadly sectarian attack, three people, including a senior Pakistani army officer, were killed and seven others injured after gunmen opened indiscriminate fire at a Sufi shrine in Punjab province.

The unidentified gunmen stormed the shrine on the outskirts of Sargodha town, about 200 kms from here, on Saturday evening while a religious gathering was going on and opened fire on the audience, police said on Monday.

In the attack, Brigadier Fazal Zahoor Qadri, his brother Noor Subhani, who was the head?of the shrine, and a local resident were killed on the spot while seven others injured, police said.

The shrine belongs to the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam that is influenced by Sufi mysticism.

Subhani, a moderate preacher, used to hold religious gathering once a month at the shrine.

Since the Brigadier and his family members had no enmity with anyone, the?investigators are probing the matter on sectarian lines.

"We are not ruling out the sectarian aspect of the case. We are positive to get the clue to the killers soon," District Police Officer (Sargodha) Raja Basharat told PTI.

The government has formed a joint investigation team comprising police, ISI, military intelligence and intelligence bureau officials to probe the matter.

The attack came on the same day when top Shia leader Allama Abbas Kumaili's son Ali Akbar was killed in Karachi.

Sufi shrines have come under attack in recent years from Sunni extremists in Pakistan, who see them as antithetical to Islam.

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