The Canadian mosque shooting that left six people dead is a terrorist attack?
Six people have been killed after a shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers which Canada’s prime minister called an act of terrorism.
Police initially arrested two men but later said just one remains a suspect.
More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when the shooting erupted on Sunday night.
In addition to the six who died, five were in critical condition and 12 others suffered minor injuries, University of Quebec Hospital Centre spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis said. The dead ranged in age from 35 to 65.
Quebec City court clerk Isabelle Ferland named Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed el Khadir as the suspects. Police later said one of them was just a witness, though they did not say which.
One was arrested at the scene and another nearby, in his car on a bridge near d’Orleans, where he called 911 to say he wanted to co-operate with police.
Police did not give a possible motive for the attack.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterised the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim countries.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge,” Mr Trudeau said in a statement.
“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.
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”
Mr Trudeau will make a statement in Parliament before travelling to Quebec City, his office said.
President Trump called Mr Trudeau to express condolences about the attack.
The Canadian prime minister’s office says Mr Trump expressed his condolences to Mr Trudeau and the Canadian people, and offered to provide any assistance needed.
“The Muslim community was the target of this murderous attack,” Mr Couillard said. He added that solidarity rallies would be held across Quebec on Monday.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the “odious attack” on the mosque and offered support for Canada’s leaders.
Mr Hollande, whose country has suffered a string of Islamic extremist attacks, said in a statement “it was the Quebecois spirit of peace and openness that the terrorists wanted to harm”.
Pope Francis called for mutual respect among people of different faiths as he condemned the attack.
Francis conveyed his condolences in writing and in person to the archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Gerald LaCroix, who was in Rome on Monday and returned immediately to Canada.
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said: “No person should have to pay with their life, for their race, their colour, their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs.”
Pierre Poirier, Quebec City police spokesman, said the mosque had been evacuated and the situation was under control.
Source: /Belfast Telegraph