• New York police seeking killer of imam, assistant

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    NEW YORK CITY: A New York neighborhood teetered on edge on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as it struggled to pinpoint the motives behind a gunman’s fatal daytime attack on an imam and his assistant near their mosque. Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant, 64-year-old Thara Uddin, were shot at point-blank range just before 2 pm (1800 GMT) Saturday in the Ozone Park neighborhood in the borough of Queens, police said. The motive is unknown and no arrests have been made, the authorities said. “There is nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith,” police told journalists. However, Muslim community representatives pointed to growing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by a series of deadly attacks in the United States and abroad as well as hostile statements by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, including his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. Security video footage of the brazen attack shows the gunman approach the two men from behind at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 79th Street, a few blocks from the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque.

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