Gunman shot influential Saudi preacher Qarni in Philippines

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An influential Saudi Arabian preacher was shot and wounded in a southern Philippine city on Tuesday, police said, adding security forces killed the gunman.

Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni was in hospital following the shooting in Zamboanga city but did not have life threatening injuries, local police spokeswoman Senior Inspector Helen Galvez said.

“He is out of danger,” Galvez told AFP by phone.

Galvez said another man travelling with Qarni was also wounded.

She declined to give other details, such as where the shooting occurred, other than to say the assailant had been killed.

“We pinned down the gunman. He’s dead,” she said.

Saudi media outlets described Qarni as a senior Islamic scholar. He has more than 12 million followers on Twitter.

In his book “Awakening Islam,” the French academic Stephane Lacroix included Qarni among “the most famous” Saudi preachers.

Zamboanga is one of the largest cities in the southern Philippines, which has been home to a decades-long separatist rebellion by the mainly Catholic nation’s Muslim minority.

Zamboanga has a mixed Christian and Muslim population, and has been a frequent target of attacks by local Muslim militant groups.

One of the nation’s main Muslim rebel groups raided the city in 2013, triggering three weeks of clashes with security forces that left more than 200 people dead.

source: AFP

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