Pakistan is mourning one of its most famous sufi singers, Amjad Sabri, who was shot dead in Karachi by militants

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.

Television footage showed tearful mourners showering rose petals over an ambulance carrying the coffin of Amjad Sabri, whose car was ambushed by gunmen on Wednesday when he was on his way to a local TV appearance. Sabri will be buried later Thursday.

Mujjudid Sabri (C), the son of Amjad Sabri, was comforted by relatives

Mujjudid Sabri (C), the son of Amjad Sabri, was comforted by relatives

Amjad Sabri, one of Pakistan’s most well-known Sufi musicians, was gunned down Wednesday in the southern city of Karachi.

Sabri, 45, was the victim of what police are calling a targeted killing. Two assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on his car, firing 5 or 6 shots, according to Muqqadas Haider, a senior police official. Sabri died of his injuries en route to the hospital. The singer was known for not having any political affiliations.

Sabri and his late father, Ghulam Farid Sabri, were renowned qawwali singers, a style of music rooted in Sufism, or Islamic mysticism. They carried on a family tradition that goes back to the 17th century, when their ancestors performed for the Mughal emperors who ruled much of the Indian subcontinent.

Police in Pakistan have launched a manhunt for the killers of a well-known musician. A faction of the Taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack on Amjad Sabri, which police describe as a targeted killing. Al Jazeera’s Gerald Tan reports.