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New York imam, assistant shot near mosque after prayers

Religious leaders hold a press conference at the Mosque of Imam Maulama Akonjee, Al Furqan Mosque, in the Queens borough of New York City, August 13, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

New York: New York City Police has said that a city imam and his assistant were gunned down in broad daylight after prayers near Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque.

The two were shot in the head at around 1:50 p.m. yesterday in Ozone Park, Queens.

“There is nothing in the preliminary investigation that would indicate they were targeted because of their faith,” CNN quoted New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner as saying.

Sautner said that Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, were rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where they later died.

Reports suggest the victims were walking home after midday prayers and were wearing religious attire at the time of the shooting.

The police said that the surveillance video captured the gunman leaving the scene with his weapon in hand.

Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a statement said the perpetrator of these senseless killings must be swiftly apprehended and face the full force of the law.(ANI)