Canada: At least 5 killed in mass shooting at Quebec mosque

Abdul Nakua, of the Muslim Association of Canada, said in an interview with the Canadian Press that the Quebec City attack means they will be looking to add security measures to mosques, despite being known as open-door, safe spaces of prayer.

Alexandre Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder following the attack on the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre on Sunday.

Police have started their investigation into the motive behind the attack.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement: "We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge". "While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence", Trudeau said in a statement.

"We can confirm that we have six persons pronounced dead and eight persons is in hospital", said Christine Coulombe, the Quebec Provincial Police spokeswoman.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says there will be solidarity rallies across Quebec on Monday and says the province's people will all be together to express horror.

Speaking directly to the country's Muslim community, Mr Trudeau said, "We stand with you".

Six people between the ages of 35 and 70, were killed in the bloody massacre that took place Sunday at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City's Sainte-Foy neighbourhood.

Mosque president Mohamed Yangui, who was not present at the evening prayers, said he had received several calls from those inside about the shooting. Authorities reported two arrests in what Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism.

The killings come at a sensitive time for Trudeau, whose open-door immigration policies stand in contrast to those of the USA, where President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week barring citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries.

Two suspects were initially arrested, but police later released one as a witness, confirming the shooting was carried out by a sole gunman. During Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims, a severed pig head was left on its doorstep along with a threatening note in 2016.

"Quebec categorically rejects this barbaric violence", Couillard wrote on Twitter.

  • Tracy Ferguson