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Six dead and eight injured in mosque attack: Quebec police

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jan 30th, 2017

A shooting at a Quebec City mosque left six people dead and eight others injured Sunday in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack.”

Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said 39 other people survived and that two people were in custody after the shooting.

Coulombe said a joint terrorism task force that includes provincial police, the RCMP and Montreal police has been deployed.

The victims are believed to be between 35 and about 70, she said.

One of the suspects was arrested not far from the mosque, while the other was arrested near Ile-d’Orleans, just east of Quebec City’s downtown core.

“For the moment, nothing leads us to believe there are other suspects linked to the event, but you’ll understand we’re not taking any chances and we’re making the necessary verifications to make sure there aren’t any,” Coulombe said.

Police would not talk about the type of weapon used in the slayings.

People come to show their support after a shooting occurred in a mosque at the Québec City Islamic cultural center on Sainte-Foy Street in Quebec city on January 29, 2017. GETTY IMAGES/AFP/ Alice Chiche

 

Trudeau issued a statement to denounce the incident.

“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge,” he said.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who have died, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.”

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also called the incident a terrorist attack and said the national assembly will lower flags to half-mast.

“All our solidarity is with those who are close to the victims, the injured and their families,” he said.

A live video feed on a Facebook page of the mosque showed images of multiple police vehicles and yellow police tape.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted Sunday he is deeply saddened by the loss of life, his office says no motive has been confirmed.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard reacted on Twitter by calling it “barbaric violence.”

“All our solidarity is with those who are close to the victims, the injured and their families,” he said.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said his thoughts went out to the victims of Sunday’s shooting and their families.

“Quebec is an open-minded city where all can live together peacefully and respectfully,” said Labeaume. “I urge the people to unite and stand together. Quebec is a strong city. Quebec is a proud city. Quebec is a city that is open to the world.”

The mosque issued a Facebook statement early Monday after confirmation of the six dead.

“All our thoughts are with the children who have to be told their father has died,” said the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec

“May Allah give them patience and strength.”

Neighbourhood resident Carol-Ann Andrews said such an attack was “pretty surprising” for Quebec City.

“My thoughts went immediately to what was happening in the United States with all the laws and all the immigrants that are not allowed to come back,” she said.

“Unfortunately there are people in the world whose minds are not totally OK so it could have given them an idea to get rid of other people. It’s pathetic.”

Asked whether she feels safe, she replied, “We’re not safe anywhere any more.”

Police blocked the area off, while a coffee shop stayed open beyond normal hours and served free coffee. The mosque is across the street from a big stone church

In Montreal, a vigil is planned for 6 p.m. on Monday night outside the Parc subway station

The mosque in question had a pig’s head left outside the building last June.

The head was wrapped in paper and accompanied by a note that read “Bonne (sic) appetit.”

 

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