A man was in custody on Monday after a mass shooting in a mosque in Quebec City that killed six men and wounded eight others, Canadian officials said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the episode a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”
The attack, on Sunday evening, shook Canada, where mass shootings are uncommon. The country has also become known as a beacon for refugees fleeing warfare and terrorism in Muslim-majority nations.
Mr. Trudeau assailed what he called “this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge.”
“It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence,” he said in a statement early Monday. “Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.”
Muslim leaders from Quebec joined the province’s premier, Philippe Couillard, at a news conference on Monday morning. “We’re all Quebecers,” Mr. Couillard said. “All of us. Each one of us. We are a large nation, a large people, but we’re even more united today.”
President Trump called Mr. Trudeau to express support. Pope Francis offered his condolences to Cardinal Gérald Cyprien LaCroix, the archbishop of Quebec, who was visiting Rome on Monday. Messages of solidarity poured in from Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and a 7-year-old girl who recently fled Syria, among others.
Of the five people still hospitalized on Monday, three were due to be released and two were being treated for serious injuries, according to Quebec City University Hospital.
The six men killed ranged in age from 39 to 60, said Inspector Martin Plante of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The authorities initially said that there were two suspects, but Quebec’s provincial police agency said on Monday that only one man was a suspect and that another man — also arrested on Sunday evening — was a witness. Court officials in Quebec identified the two men arrested as Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, and Mohamed el Khadir, who was said to be in his late 20s or early 30s. It was not immediately clear which man was the suspect and which was the witness.
“For the moment, nothing indicates to us that there was anybody else involved,” said Chief Inspector André Goulet of Quebec’s provincial police agency.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: NY Times, Ian Austen and Craig S. Smith