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Syrian-born former imam ‘shot dead’ in London

Police were called by paramedics to the scene of the crime in north-west London after the man was found in his car

Published: Updated:

A Syrian-born former imam at a London mosque was found shot dead in his car in the British capital, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Police were called by paramedics to the scene of the crime in north-west London after the man was found with what was believed to be bullet wounds to the chest on Tuesday.

"The BBC understands the victim was Abdul Hadi Arwani, a chef and former imam at a London mosque," the broadcaster reported.

Police have now launched a murder investigation, but have not yet confirmed the identity of the victim. He was described as a man in his late 40s.

"Detectives believe they know the identity of the deceased, however formal identification awaits," the London Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"A post mortem examination will be arranged in due course."

Friends and supporters of Arwani paid tribute to him on social media, and former Guantanamo Bay detainee and activist Moazzam Begg wrote on Twitter "May Allah have mercy on him."

Arwani was described as a prominent activist opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.