Fatal shooting mars Quebec separatist election celebration

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Fatal shooting mars Quebec separatist election celebration

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An election victory celebration by separatists in the Canadian province of Quebec has been interrupted by a shooting in which one person was killed and another wounded.

The leader of the Parti Quebecois was speaking when a gunman began shooting at the back of the venue in Montreal, hitting two people. He is said to have started a fire as he tried to run away.

A 50-year-old suspect was arrested. Reports say he said “the English are waking up” as he was led off in handcuffs.

The Parti Quebecois wants the mainly French-speaking province to break away from Canada.

Leader Pauline Marois was rushed from the stage as the shooting broke out. She had just begun calling for independence. She later returned to complete her speech.

Results in the parliamentary election suggest she will be Quebec’s first female premier after a narrow win for the separatists.

But it is not clear whether the victory will bring enough momentum for a referendum on independence from Canada.

Two previous independence referendums in 1980 and 1995 both failed.