Six people have been killed after gunmen opened fire in a Québec City mosque during evening prayers in what the Canadian prime minister called a ‘terrorist attack on Muslims’.
The shooting was carried out by at least two people wearing black at the Québec City Islamic cultural center, witnesses said. Eight others were wounded.
One person has been arrested, CNN reports. A previous statement indicated that two arrests had been made.
— Timothy Davis (@SummerCampus_) January 30, 2017
Earlier Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the shooting as a ‘terrorist attack’, saying he heard of the news with ‘tremendous shock, sadness and anger’.
He said in a statement:
We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge.
While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.
Tonight, Canadians grieve for those killed in a cowardly attack on a mosque in Quebec City. My thoughts are with victims & their families.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 30, 2017
Thirty-nine people who were at the mosque during shooting were unharmed, Christine Coulombe, spokeswoman of National Police of Quebec, said. The city’s police said the site had since been secured and all occupants evacuated.
The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui – who was not inside when the shooting happened – said the attack happened in the men’s section of the mosque and added: “Why is this happening here? This is barbaric.”
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, who also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack, condemned it as ‘barbaric violence’. He expressed solidarity with Muslims in Quebec.
Posted by Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on Sunday, January 29, 2017
The mosque has been targeted before. In June, during the holy month of Ramadan, a ‘gift-wrapped’ pig’s head was left on the doorstep with a note reading ‘bonne appetit’.
Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families at this time.