The Latest: Bangladesh minister condemns NYC imam slaying

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 14, 2016 5:22 PM
The Latest: Bangladesh minister condemns NYC imam slaying

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of the leader of a New York City mosque and a friend (all times local):

5 p.m.

An official with the government in Bangladesh is condemning the fatal shooting of a mosque leader and his friend in New York City.

In a tweet, the country's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Shahriar Alam, called the shooting a "cowardly act on peace-loving people."

The U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Bernicat, also condemned the Saturday shooting, saying Imam Maulama Akonjee "stood for peace."

Worshippers on Sunday remembered the 55-year-old Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin at a mosque in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens.

Police have not released a possible motive.

___

4:15 p.m.

Dozens of people have gathered at a New York City mosque for a prayer service for its leader and his friend who were fatally shot as they left a service a day earlier.

The Sunday afternoon service was held at Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in the Ozone Park neighborhood.

Worshippers remembered 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin, remarking on their devotion to their families and faith.

Gousuddin Khan says he's scared to walk around his neighborhood. He says there need to more police officers patrolling the neighborhood. Several police officers were stationed outside the mosque Sunday afternoon.

___

12:10 p.m.

Family and neighbors of an imam and his associate who were gunned down near a New York City mosque are still grappling for answers.

Neighbors gathered where the two men lived, just blocks from where they were killed in a Queens neighborhood as police continued searching Sunday for the suspect.

Authorities said the shooter approached Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque Saturday afternoon.

Mashuk Uddin says his brother came to the U.S. from Bangladesh five years ago. He said he was devoted to his family and his religion.

Neighbor Monir Chowdhury worshipped with the men. He says he has felt an anti-Muslim sentiment growing in the neighborhood and believes the attack was a hate crime.

Police have not released a possible motive.

___

9:45 a.m.

The Anti-Defamation League is expressing solidarity with New York City's Muslim community in the wake of the fatal shootings of the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers in Queens.

The organization says that while the motive for the crime is still unknown, nothing can justify the killing of two men walking from their place of worship.

It is urging the NYPD to investigate the shootings as a possible bias crime.

The ADL fights anti-Semitism around the world through programs and services.

Police were searching Sunday for the suspect who killed 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin. The shooter approached them from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday.

Police have not announced a motive.

___

5:30 a.m.

New York City police have released a sketch of the suspect they say fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers.

Police say witnesses described the shooter of 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin as a man with a medium complexion, last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue shorts. Police released a sketch early Sunday of a dark-haired, bearded man wearing glasses.

Authorities say the shooter approached them from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday. Police say video surveillance showed the suspect then fled south on 79th Street with the gun still in his hand.

Police say they haven't determined a motive, and that there's no indication the men were targeted because of their faith. But members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community served by the mosque worry it could be a hate crime.

More than 100 people attended a rally Saturday night.

___

1 a.m.

New York City police are searching for the man who fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers.

Police say 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin were fatally shot by someone who approached them from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday.

Police say they haven't determined a motive, and that there's no indication the men were targeted because of their faith, but members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community served by the mosque worry it could be a hate crime. More than 100 people attended a rally Saturday night.

Naima Akonjee, the imam's daughter, says her father didn't have "any problems with anyone."