Biden expresses solidarity with Muslim community after ‘horrific’ killings

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden has condemned a series of fatal shootings of Muslim men whose slayings in the southern American state of New Mexico over the past nine months are believed by investigators to be related.

“I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Biden tweeted.

Noting that a full investigation on the matter is underway, he underlined that his administration strongly stands with the US Muslim community.

“These hateful attacks have no place in America,” the president said.

His tweet came as police in New Mexico on Sunday asked for the public’s help in locating a “vehicle of interest” in their probe of the attacks.

Mayor Tim Keller said state authorities were working to provide an “extra police presence at mosques during times of prayer” as the investigation proceeds in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city.

The latest victim, police said, was gunned down on Friday night, in a killing that local Islamic leaders said occurred shortly after he had attended funeral services for two others slain during the past couple of weeks.

All three of those men, as well as the very first victim who was shot dead in November, were Muslim men of Pakistan or Afghanistan descent who resided in Albuquerque.

Police have given few details of the latest murder but described the first three killings as ambush shootings. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has characterized them as “targeted killings of Muslim residents.”

Albuquerque police officials told a news conference hours later that they were following a number of leads and issued a bulletin with photos of a four-door, dark gray Volkswagen sedan with tinted windows that they described as a “vehicle of interest” in the investigation.

It was left unclear how the car was tied to the case, and police said they had yet to determine whether they were seeking one or more suspects in the investigation.

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