Canada PM dubs Quebec mosque shooting a 'terrorist attack'

2017-01-30 09:32
Alice Chiche / AFP

Alice Chiche / AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Quebec City - Six people died and eight were injured after gunmen opened fire at a Quebec City mosque, a shooting that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned on Monday as a "terrorist attack."

Police spokesperson Christine Coulombe told journalists that two suspects were arrested following the attack, that police were also treating as an act of terrorism.

Trudeau said in a statement that "we condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge."

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, city and country."

According to witnesses interviewed on local television, two masked gunmen entered the cultural center around 19:15 on Sunday.

The motive of the attack was not immediately clear. Police quickly set up in the mosque's vicinity.

Coulombe said those killed were between ages 35 and 70.

Police did not rule out the possibility of a third suspect who had fled the scene.

"It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence," Trudeau said. "Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear."

'Barbaric violence'

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said in a series of Twitter posts that the government was "mobilized to ensure the security of the people of Quebec."

"Quebec categorically rejects this barbaric violence," he wrote. "Solidarity with Quebec people of Muslim faith."

Police stationed near the mosque told AFP that they had been preparing for this type of attack "because it's happening all over the world."

"I don't understand why here - it's a small mosque," said a man who was inside the center at the time of the attack. "It's not Montreal or Toronto."

The mosque has already been the target of hate: a pig's head was left on the doorstep last June during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Other mosques in Canada have been targeted with racist graffiti in recent months.

Policy of compassion

The attack comes as Canada has vowed to open its arms wide to Muslims and refugees after US President Donald Trump's controversial immigration ban Friday sparked travel chaos and outrage around the world.

Canada will offer temporary residence permits to people stranded in the country as a result of Trump's order, the immigration ministry said Sunday.

"Let me assure those who may be stranded in Canada that I will use my authority as minister to provide them with temporary residency if needed as we have done in the past," Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said at a news conference.

Trump has suspended the arrival of all refugees to the US for at least 120 days and barred entry for 90 days to people from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Hussen, who is of Somali origin, did not condemn the US measure but stressed that Canada would continue to pursue an immigration policy based on "compassion" while at the same time protecting the security of its citizens.

"We welcome those fleeing persecution, terror and war," he said, echoing a welcoming Twitter post by Trudeau on Saturday.

According to the latest Canadian census, from 2011, one out of five people in the country are foreign-born.

Canada has welcomed more than 39 670 Syrian refugees between November 2015 and early January 2017, according to government figures.

Read more on:    canada  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.