Update: One day after the prime minister welcome Muslims into the country, it appears Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard calls mosque shooting a “terrorist act”, and Greg Fergus, an MP in Quebec blamed “years of demonising Muslims” for the massacre…
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) January 30, 2017
Quebec police confirm: “The premises are secure and the occupants have been evacuated. The investigation continues,” the SPVQ wrote on Twitter.
A witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBC’s French-language service Radio-Canada that two masked individuals entered the mosque.
“It seemed to me that they had a Quebecois accent. They started to fire, and as they shot they yelled, ‘Allahu akbar!’ The bullets hit people that were praying. People who were praying lost their lives. A bullet passed right over my head,” said the witness.
Additionally, NYPD is steeping up patrol at all mosque/house-of-worship locations citywide, due to the shooting at a mosque in Quebec.
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As we detailed earlier, five people were killed after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers, the mosque’s president told reporters on Sunday Reuters reported. Police confirmed the shooting at a Quebec mosque in a tweet, confirming numerous fatalities.
“There are many victims … there are deaths,” a Quebec police spokesman told reporters.
Quebec City Constable Étienne Doyon told reporters that police received a call around 7:55 p.m. on Sunday, stating that shots had been heard at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on Sainte-Foy St.
“Why is this happening here? This is barbaric,” said the mosque’s president, Mohamed Yangui. In June 2016, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the cultural centre, Reuters added. Yangui, who luckily was not inside the mosque during the shooting, said he received frantic calls from people at evening prayers. He said the injured had been taken to different hospitals across Quebec City.
Horrible news of a shooting at a mosque in Quebec. Details still being sorted out. https://t.co/dSxBYtyvyi
— Catherine Griwkowsky (@CGriwkowsky) January 30, 2017
— Alexandre Duval (@alexduval88) January 30, 2017
— P.C. (@samyoscar) January 30, 2017
According to local authorities, one of the shooters at the mosque used an AK-47.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 30, 2017
Police launched an investigation last June after the severed head of a pig was left in front of one of the doors of the mosque, wrapped in cellophane with bows, ribbon and a card that read, “bonne appétit.” The incident took place during Ramadan, a month-long celebration during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. Muslim dietary laws forbid eating pork at any time. Three weeks later, an Islamophobic letter entitled “What is the most serious: a pig’s head or a genocide” was distributed in the vicinity.
In the neighboring province of Ontario, a mosque was set on fire in 2015, a day after an attack by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris.
As a reminder, just yesterday Canada’s PM defied Trump’s immigration order, and openly welcomed all those “fleeing prosecution” to Canada.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
As Canada’s CBC reports, two suspects have been arre sted, but so far there are scant details about the identity of the shooters.