Families of slain Muslims demand US hate crime investigation

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Local Editor

The families of three murdered Muslim students called for the horrific triple-homicide to be investigated as a hate crime on Wednesday. Suzanne Barakat, the sister of Deah, on Wednesday demanded that authorities “investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime,” adding that they were “execution-style murders.”

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were shot dead execution-style on Tuesday in North Carolina university town of Chapel Hill. A 46-year-old neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, has been charged with three counts of murder over the killings which sparked outrage amongst Muslims worldwide.

Police say initial probes suggest the deadly attack stemmed from a dispute over parking space, but have not ruled out the possibility that hatred of Muslims had motivated the shooter. However, the father of two female students shot dead sharply disagrees with the police wording and has demanded that investigators treat the killing as a “hate crime.”

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