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HomeWorld'Interpersonal conflict,' say cops after 4 Muslim men killed in New Mexico;...

‘Interpersonal conflict,’ say cops after 4 Muslim men killed in New Mexico; suspect arrested

The police has arrested the 'primary suspect' for the crime, 51-year-old Muhammad Syed, who is also a Muslim. The men were killed in the city in a span of nine months.

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New Delhi: The killings of four Muslim men in New Mexico’s Albuquerque has shaken the Islamic community amid fears of more deadly Islamophobic hate crimes.

The police has arrested the “primary suspect” in the crime, 51-year-old Muhammad Syed, who is also a Muslim. The killings took place in the city in a span of nine months, from November last year to August.

Syed, however, denied “any involvement” in the murder of the four men, all Shia Muslims, during an interview with the police.

“We tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque. The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders,” Albuquerque Police chief Harold Medina said Wednesday.

Syed is being charged with the murders of Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, who were shot to death on 26 July and 1 August, respectively. Both men hailed from Pakistan and were members of the same mosque.

The police also suspect Syed behind the slaying of two other Muslim men in the city — Naeem Hussain, 25, from Pakistan, on 5 August and Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a native of Afghanistan, on 7 November last year.

The Albuquerque Police Department cited “interpersonal conflict” as a possible motive for the killings and noted that Syed may have known his victims “to some extent”.

However, according to a report in The New York Times, a local Muslim leader from the city told officials that Syed, a Sunni Muslim, specifically targetted the victims because they were all Shia Muslims. He was furious over the fact that his daughter married a Shiite Muslim, the report said.

Syed, a father of six, has been living in the US for six years after moving from Afghanistan.

On Sunday, US President Joe Biden said he was “angered and saddened” by the horrific killings and asserted there was no place for “hateful attacks” in America.

“I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America,” Biden wrote on his Twitter.

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