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Tensions ran high in western Canada's large Sikh religious community Thursday after the killing of an outspoken newspaper publisher threatened to inflame a long-running, sometimes violent feud.

Tara Singh Hayer, publisher of the Indo-Canadian Times, North America's largest Punjab-language newspaper, was shot outside his home in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, late Wednesday. Police called the killing a "targeted assassination."

Hayer, 62, who was confined to a wheelchair because of another assassination attempt 10 years ago, was an outspoken critic of fundamentalist factions in the Sikh communities in both Canada and India.

Police said they had no suspects.

Hayer's family alleged that the killing was an attempt to scare moderate Sikhs on the eve of elections that will decide which factions will control the finances of several large Sikh temples in the Vancouver area.

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