My sincerest condolences to those who lost loved ones, and my deepest sympathies to the people who were injured, those who survived without physical harm, members of the mosque, and their community, after gunmen opened fire at the Québec City Islamic cultural center during evening prayers last night, killing six people and injuring 19 others, five of whom are still in critical condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.
The Guardian reports:
Two arrests have been made, a police spokesman said. Local newspaper Le Soleil said police accepted a third suspect could still be on the run, though spokeswoman Chistine Coulombe later said: "Nothing right now makes us believe that there would be other suspects related to this event."Solidarity rallies will be held across Québec today. The CBC is publishing live updates here.
...The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, spoke of his anger after hearing the news: "We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," he said.
"While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear."
Police said the victims were aged between 35 and 70.
At the time of the attack, more than 50 people were thought to be in the two-storey building, also called the Grande Mosquée de Québec, which is equipped with several CCTV cameras.
The mosque's president, Mohamed Yangui – who was not inside the mosque when the shooting occurred – said he got frantic calls from people at evening prayers. He said the injured were taken to different hospitals across Québec City. "Why is this happening here? This is barbaric," he said.
...Looking shaken at an early morning press conference, the city's mayor, Régis Labeaume, said Québec was in mourning. "I want to express my revolt to this villainous crime," he added.
I am so angry and so sad.
This isn't happening in a vacuum. I want to strongly urge everyone (myself included) to push back hard against Islamophobia, every time you see it.