Quebec Mosque Attack: What We Know So Far

  Worshippers at Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec were finishing off their evening prayers at around 8 pm last evening (January 29, 2017), when two armed gunmen, with ski masks covering their faces broke into the mosque and opened fire. The attack has left six people dead, with five still reported to be in critical condition. Twelve other injured were treated and released, while police say that 39 other worshippers at the mosque at the time of the attack were unharmed. The victims ranged in age from 35-70. Men, women and children had congregated at the mosque for evening prayers, with men praying on the ground floor, women and children on the upper floor. The brazen attack has shocked everyone, with leaders from the country, and all over the world condemning the attack. Police have arrested two suspects and investigation is underway, however motives behind the attack remain unknown. Witnesses say that the attackers looked like people “who mastered weapons because it was calm.”"The gunman emptied his weapon and then left," said the witness. Another witness, according to reports, says that the attacker walked in and started shooting “everything that was moving.” The mosque has been a victim of hate crime in the past. In June 2016, during Ramadhan, the Islamic month of fasting, someone has left a pig’s head on mosque premises with a “Bon Apetit” tag attached to it. Pigs are haram (forbidden) in Islam. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the attack a “ terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of wprship and refuge,” adding that Muslims Canadians are an important part of our national fabric and these “senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.” Quebec Primer Philippe Couillard also addressed the media at a press conference last night, saying that the attack was a “murderous act directed at a specific community.” Calling it an act or terrorism, he reassured the Muslims in the province, saying: “We are with you. You are at home. You are welcome here. You are all Quebecers. Together we have to continue to build an open, welcoming and peaceful society.” Mayor of the city, Régis Labeaume also sent out a message of solidarity. Fighting back tears. Labeaume said the city is in mourning. "To the Muslim community, our neighbours, our co-citizens, who count on our support and solidarity, I want to say, We love you." Vigils and wakes have been planned across the country, to support our Muslim neighbours and to support them in these uncertain times, with increased security and vigilance around mosques in the province.   Update: Authorities have nor corrected that there was just one gunman involved in the shooting, the second one was a witness. Banner Image: ALICE CHICHE/AFP/Getty Images

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