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Imam who criticized Syria’s Assad shot dead in London

April 8, 2015

LONDON (AP) — British police said Wednesday its counter-terrorism unit is investigating the killing of a Syria-born Muslim cleric who was shot dead in London.

London’s Metropolitan Police said Abdul-Hadi Arwani, 48, was found in a parked car with gunshot wounds to his chest in the Wembley area. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Arwani was former imam at the An-noor mosque in west London.

A statement posted at the building Wednesday read: “We have with great sadness heard of the unfortunate death of Shaykh Abdulhadi Arwani ... He will be sadly missed.”

The police force said “detectives retain an open mind regarding the possible motive.”

His daughter, Elham Arwani, told the Evening Standard newspaper that Arwani had been critical of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, but the family did not believe that was the motive for his killing.

Son Morhaf Arwani said: “We are at a loss to understand what is behind this.”

Police said a post-mortem examination is planned for Thursday.

Update hourly