An imam and his assistant have been killed after a gunman opened fire close to a New York mosque.

The New York Daily News said that gunshots rang out at around 2pm on Saturday near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Ozone Park, Queens, leaving both victims lying on the ground in their own blood just a block from the mosque.

The identities of the two victims were not immediately made public.

The imam, Maulana Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were fatally injured, police said.