USA. New Mexico Police Investigate Murder of 3 Muslims and Reward Those Who Help

Police in New Mexico’s largest city are trying to determine if the deaths of three Muslim men in ambush over the past nine months could be linked, the Associated Press reported.

Albuquerque police confirmed that local investigators and federal law enforcement officials are looking for a possible link between the individual crimes.

Two men, Muhammad Afzal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussain, 41, were killed last week, both from Pakistan, who attended the same mosque.

The third case involved the killing of 62-year-old Mohammed Ahmadi, a South Asian Muslim, last November.

Deputy Sheriff Kyle Hartsock did not elaborate, but said the common denominator of the victims was race and religion.

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Hartsock said at a press conference outside the Islamic Center of New Mexico. “We want to help the public identify this coward.”

The governor and mayor of Albuquerque and civil rights groups expressed concern, saying that violence against members of the community based on race or religion is unacceptable.

Hartsock reiterated that authorities cannot yet say whether the shootings were hate crimes or not until the suspect and motive for the crime are identified.

These incidents come at a time when Albuquerque has set another year of “record homicide rates,” according to the Associated Press.

On Friday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations offered a $5,000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting. The Council is the largest Islamic civil rights organization in the country.

The last two murders took place in southeast Albuquerque, and Ahmadi was killed behind a store and cafe he owned with his brother.

Source: Associated Press.

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