Widely respected Bangladeshi imam, assistant shot dead in New York

New York: A widely respected Bangladeshi imam and his assistant were shot dead in broad daylight by a lone gunman as they walked home after Saturday prayers in the Queens borough here, with the local community blaming the Islamophobia fanned by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the attack. Imam Maulana Akonjee and his assistant Thara Uddin were dressed in traditional Muslim attire when the killer approached them from behind and shot them at point-blank range, a New York police officer was quoted as saying by the New York Daily News. Akonjee, 55, was shot in the head and died on the spot, while Uddin, 65, was died in hospital four hours later, the report said. Many worshipers from the local Bangladeshi community mosque gathered at the murder scene to denounce the shooting as a hate crime. That's not what America is about," Khairul Islam, a local, was quoted as saying by the report.  "We blame Donald Trump for this . . . Trump and his drama has created Islamophobia." Sources told the New York Daily News that the hate crimes task force of the city police would be investigating the shooting, but that it was "too early to say" it was indeed a hate crime.