Canada's Trudeau: Quebec mosque shooting was a 'terrorist attack'

Canada's Trudeau: Quebec mosque shooting was a 'terrorist attack'
The Canadian prime minister has condemned an attack on a Quebec mosque a 'terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge', winning the applause of Muslims.
2 min read
30 January, 2017
Six people were killed during the attack on the Canadian mosque [Getty]
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned a shooting at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night as a "terrorist attack".

Six people died and eight were injured after gunmen opened fire at worshippers in the mosque.

Police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe told journalists that two suspects were arrested following the attack, and 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 centre 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 7:15 pm (0015 GMT) 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."

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.