Six people were killed and eight wounded when gunmen opened fire at a Quebec mosque during Sunday (January 29) night prayers, in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack on Muslims”.
Police said two suspects had been arrested, but gave no more details into what prompted the “terrorist attack”, saying the investigation had just begun.
Local resident Anthony Kote said the Muslims who attend the mosque get along well with the local “Quebecois” population.
“I would say that everybody they get along and even in terms of the Québécoise that I have encountered I never have encountered any sort of hatred or animosity towards them. So I’m really shocked by all of this,” said Kote.
Initially, the mosque president said five people were killed in the shooting, and a witness said up to three gunmen had fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre. Police said only two people were involved in the attack.
Mass shootings are rare in Canada, which has stricter gun laws than the United States, and news of the shooting sent a shockwave through mosques and community centres throughout the mostly French-language province.
On his Twitter page Trudeau called the shooting a “cowardly attack” and added, “my thoughts are with the victims & their families.”