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Man in US attack sought to avenge Muslims-official

Written by: Staff

MIAMI, Mar 5 (Reuters) An Iranian man who plowed a car into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world, a university official said.

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a recent graduate of the university, was charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill after driving into students outside a cafeteria on the Chapel Hill campus.

No one was seriously injured in Friday's incident.

''Our ongoing investigation indicates that the suspect's motive was to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world,'' Derek Poarch, the university's director of public safety, said according to the transcript of a news conference yesterday.

''There is every indication in this early stage of the investigation that he acted alone. There is no indication whatsoever that he acted in concert with anyone.'' The FBI joined the investigation after Taheri-azar made the comments about Muslims.

North Carolina media said he rented the Jeep Cherokee used in the assault on a lunchtime crowd, and called police afterward to surrender.

Poarch said a magistrate had set bail at 5.5 million dollars and Taheri-azar was due to make his first court appearance tomorrow.


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