World : Muslim Leader in Brussels Slain

From Times staff and wire service reports

The spiritual leader of the Brussels Mosque and his aide were shot and killed today, police said. The attack followed threats on the Muslim leader prompted by his comments about Salman Rushdie and his book “The Satanic Verses.”

Killed were Imam Abdullah Ahdal, a 36-year-old Saudi, and his aide, Salem Behir, 40, of Tunisia. No arrests were made and no one claimed responsibility for the killings.

The imam received threats after he made a statement on Belgian television about Rushdie, police said. A television reporter said the station received angry telephone calls after Ahdal’s Feb. 20 appearance. Although Ahdal’s remarks were considered moderate, the reporter said, he condemned the British author’s book.