Five people were killed after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers on Sunday, the mosque’s president told reporters.
Earlier, a witness told Reuters that up to three gunmen opened fire on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center. Police put up a security perimeter around the mosque after the shooting. Heavily armed tactical police were seen entering the mosque
Quebec police spokesperson said:
“There are many victims … there are deaths”.
A police tweet said there were deaths and injuries and that two suspects had been arrested.
“Why is this happening here? This is barbaric,” said the mosque’s president, Mohamed Yangui.
Earlier, on Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had invited refugees who were fleeing persecution to come to Canada in two tweets. He wrote:
Like France, Quebec, Canada has struggled to reconcile its secular identity with a rising Muslim population, mainly North African emigrants.
The niqab, became a big issue in the 2015 national Canadian election, especially in Quebec, where the vast majority of the population supported a ban on it at citizenship ceremonies. Incidents of Islamophobia have increased in Quebec in recent years.
In 2013, police investigated a mosque in the Saguenay region of Quebec after it was splattered with what was believed to be pig blood.