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Afghan refugee accused of killing three New Mexico Muslims

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - On Monday, a grand jury in New Mexico charged an Afghan refugee named Muhammad Syed with killing a third ...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - On Monday, a grand jury in New Mexico charged an Afghan refugee named Muhammad Syed with killing a third Muslim man in a series of ambush shootings that have shocked the immigrant community in the state's largest city.


The Bernalillo County District Attorney's office said in a statement that cell phone evidence linked Syed, who is 51, to the killing of Naeem Hussain, who owned a truck business, in Albuquerque on August 5.



Police had already charged Syed with killing Aftab Hussein, who worked at a cafe, on July 26 and Muhammad Afzaal Hussein, who was in charge of urban planning, on August 1 in the same area of southeast Albuquerque.



"Additional evidence from cell phones came to light, which let us tell the Grand Jury about the murder of Naeem Hussain," the statement said.



In the indictment from the grand jury, Syed was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and four counts of tampering with evidence for killing the Pakistani and Afghan immigrants.



Thomas Clark, Syed's lawyer, did not answer a request for comment right away.



Police have said that Syed is the main suspect in the 2021 killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, who owned a grocery store and a cafe.



The office of District Attorney Raul Torrez said it was working with the police to find out if Syed had anything to do with Ahmadi's death.



National Muslim advocacy groups have said that the killings might have been caused by hatred between different Muslim sects. Three of the victims are from the minority branch of Islam called Shia, while Syed is from the majority branch called Sunni.



People who knew both the victims and Syed said that the killings were mostly about personal feuds or getting back at someone.



Grand juries are secret, and prosecutors often use them to let witnesses talk freely without fear of being hurt.



Federal prosecutors have found evidence that Syed's 21-year-old son killed Hussain on August 5.

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