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Canadians hold vigils for Muslim victims of Quebec terror attack


Canadians hold vigils for Muslim victims of Quebec terror attack

Canadians have held vigils in cities across the country in solidarity with the victims of Sunday night’s terror attack at a mosque in Quebec City.

The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who had called it a “terrorist attack on Muslims” joined the marchers at the scene of the atrocity.

A suspected far-right sympathiser has been charged with six counts of murder and five of attempted murder. Several people were injured.

Those who were shot dead, all men, were aged between 39 and 60 and included two Guinean nationals.

“It is very difficult for me and all the other persons, Muslim or not Muslim. Because if you can kill a person you are not human. You don’t have humanity in your heart,” said one young woman at the vigil.

27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian student, appeared in court on Monday.

He is said to have acted alone. Police have not discussed his possible motives.

A refugee support group and at least one fellow student have been quoted in several Canadian media outlets including The Globe and Mail and CBC as saying the suspect was known for far-right views.

On Facebook and in conversation Bissonnette had reportedly expressed support for Marine Le Pen – he is said to have been inspired by a visit to Quebec by the French Front National leader last March – and Donald Trump.

A man reportedly of Moroccan descent who had also been arrested is now considered a witness. His nationality status is not clear.

In the wake of mass shootings misinformation is common. After the attack comments on social media, reports in Canadian media quoting people claiming to be witnesses, and the White House had suggested that the attack may have been Islamist terrorism.