Five people have been killed in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque, the president of the center said Sunday. Authorities reported two arrests in what Quebec’s premier and Canada’s prime minister called an act of terrorism. Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre President Mohamed Yangui reported the number of dead late Sunday in a telephone call from the provincial capital. Yangui said the shooting happened in the men’s section of the mosque. He said five males had died and he worried that some were children. He said he wasn’t at the center when the attack occurred but he got some details from people on the scene. He said an estimated 60-100 people would have been there at the time of the shooting. “We are sad for the families,” he said.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge,” Trudeau said in a statement. “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.
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country,” he added. “Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance.”
Authorities did not confirm the number of fatalities. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on certain Muslim countries.