Quebec City , Canada (Reuters): Up to three gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers and shoot five dead , the mosque 's president told reporters on Sunday.

Reuters reported that gunmen fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center. Police put up a security perimeter around the mosque .

Quebec police confirmed the shooting at a Quebec mosque in a tweet, and police on the scene told there had been fatalities.

A Quebec police‎ spokesman told reporters "There are many victims ... there are deaths".

A police reported in a tweet, there were deaths and injuries and that suspects had been arrested.

The mosque 's president, Mohamed Yangui said, "Why is this happening here? This is barbaric”.

Mohamed Yangui, who was not inside the mosque when the shooting occurred, said he got frantic calls from people at evening prayers. He did not know how many were injured, saying they had been taken to different hospitals across Quebec City .

In June 2016, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the cultural centre.

Like France, Quebec has struggled at times to reconcile its secular identity with a rising Muslim population, many of them North African emigrants.