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Imam shot and killed outside of New York City mosque

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People gather for a demonstration Aug. 13 after two men were shot leaving a New York City mosque.(Photo: Craig Ruttle, AP)

An imam and his associate were fatally shot<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Saturday after leaving afternoon prayer at their New York City mosque.
According to police,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Thara<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Uddin, 64, were both shot in the back of the head at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 79th Street in Queens.
Surveillance video appears to show a man, wearing<span style="color: Red;">*</span>shorts<span style="color: Red;">*</span>and a dark polo shirt, approaching them from behind before fleeing with a gun.<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Police released a sketch early Sunday of a dark-haired, bearded man wearing glasses.<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Police said witnesses described the shooter as a man with a medium complexion.
No arrests had been made by early Sunday.
"There's nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith," said Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner of the New York Police Department. However,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Reuters<span style="color: Red;">*</span>reports that there are videos of men gathering to demonstrate near the crime scene, with one telling the crowd that the murder was a hate crime.
A sketch provided by the New York City Police Department on Sunday, shows a suspect believed to have shot the leader of a mosque and a friend in New York.<span style="color: Red;">*</span>(Photo: AP)

In a statement, Sautner said that the police "are currently conducting an extensive canvass of the area for video and additional witnesses. There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing."
Shahin Chowdhury, a worshiper at the mosque, told AP<span style="color: Red;">*</span>that<span style="color: Red;">*</span>he recently heard<span style="color: Red;">*</span>people cursing while passing the mosque and advised community members to be cautious.<span style="color: Red;">*</span>He called the imam a "wonderful person."
Contributing: The Associated Press

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