Canadian PM calls mosque shooting a ‘terrorist attack on Muslims’

Canadian PM calls mosque shooting a ‘terrorist attack on Muslims’

Quebec City, Canada (Reuters): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the shooting at a Quebec mosque during Sunday night prays which reportedly killed five people and called it a "terrorist attack on Muslims".

Trudeau said in a statement, "We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge."

The mosque´s president, Mohamed Yangui told reporters on Sunday, five people were killed after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque.

A witness told Reuters that up to three gunmen fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre.

Quebec police said there were many victims and deaths, but did not confirm the death toll.

They said two people had been arrested, but there were no immediate details on the suspects.

A witness said a heavily armed police tactical squad was seen entering the three-storey mosque. Police declined to say whether there was a gunman inside the mosque at the time.

Police tweeted later that the situation was under control and that the mosque had been secured and occupants evacuated.

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.

Trudeau tweeted earlier in the night, "Tonight, Canadians grieve for those killed in a cowardly attack on a mosque in Quebec City. My thoughts are with victims & their families."

The shooting came on the weekend that Trudeau said Canada would welcome refugees, after US President Donald Trump suspended the US refugee program and temporarily barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States on national security grounds.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said police were providing additional protection for mosques in that city following the Quebec shooting.

"All New Yorkers should be vigilant. If you see something, say something," he tweeted.

Canada´s federal Liberal legislator Greg Fergus tweeted: "This is an act of terrorism -- the result of years of demonizing Muslims. Words matter and hateful speeches have consequences!"