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Grand jury indicts man accused of killing imam, aide

By Shawn Price

NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A New York grand jury on Monday indicted the man accused in the shooting deaths of a Muslim cleric and his assistant in Queens on Aug. 13.

In the five-count indictment, Oscar Morel, 36, faces one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. He did not appear in court on Monday and is being held without bail.

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Morel, a porter at Manhattan's New School university, is accused of fatally shooting Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin at close range moments after they left a mosque in Ozone Park, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have decried the shootings as "cold-blooded, premeditated assassination."

Morel's family and Akonjee and Uddin family members were present at the hearing but did not speak to reporters.

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