Six were killed and 19 others, all men, aged 35 to 60, were injured in a mass shooting in a mosque in Quebec City, Sunday night. All of the victims were shot in the back as they prayed. The six victims were identified as Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39. Five of the 19 injured are in critical condition. Thirty-nine escaped the attack.
Police received several calls from the Centre Culturel Islamique at 7:30pm reporting that shots had been fired. Two men were arrested near the mosque. One turned himself in by calling 911. Only one man, 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonette, is a suspect in the attack. Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder in the attack and five of attempted murder. Mohamed El Khadir, the other man arrested, was a witness.
Trudeau plans to travel to Quebec City later Monday.
This is not the first time the mosque has been targeted. Last summer, a pig’s head was placed near the front door of the building.
Vigils will be held in Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax later Monday.
Canadian Muslim groups have expressed shock and anger at the attack. The National Council of Canadian Muslims called on law enforcement agencies around the country to increase security around mosques and Islamic centres. The Canadian Council of Imams expressed shock at the “senseless killings.” The council also cautioned against blaming any one group for the attack.
Donald Trump called Trudeau to express his condolences to Canadians and offered to provide any needed assistance. French President Francois Hollande condemned what he called an “odious attack.” A representative for German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the shooting “despicable.” Pope Francis offered his condolences and called on people of different faiths to respect each other.