'Our Lives Are in Danger': Six Dead in Quebec City Mosque Shooting

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'Our Lives Are in Danger': Six Dead in Quebec City Mosque Shooting

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls shooting a 'terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge'

Six are dead and up to 18 are wounded after a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday night. Two suspects are in custody. (Photo: Reuters)

This story may be updated.

Update, 2:20pm EST:

CBC News reports: "Quebec provincial police now say only one of the two men arrested Sunday night following the deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque is a suspect in the attack."

Alexandre Bissonnette is the suspected shooter; Mohamed Belkhadir (previously identified as Mohamed Khadir), the other man arrested, is now being called a witness to the attack.

Bissonnette is a 27-year-old Quebec native, according to news reports.

According to the Montreal Gazette:

A Quebec City Facebook group called Bienvenue aux réfugié said Bissonnette "is unfortunately known to many activists in Quebec City for his positions on identity and his pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist stances at Université Laval and on social networks."

Heavy.com reports:

Bissonnette likes the Facebook pages of U.S. President Donald Trump and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, but he does not express support for them elsewhere on his page. Other likes include the Israel Defense Forces, United With Israel, and Parti Québécois of Université Laval.

Earlier:

Six people have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night.

According to Radio-Canada, the two suspects in the attack are Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed Khadir; both are in custody. Superintendent Martin Plante of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's C Division told the Montreal Gazette that the investigation into a possible motive continues. 

Quebec premier Philippe Couillard, who will hold a news conference at 10:30am EST, has described the shooting as a "murderous act directed at a specific community."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—who over the weekend said Canada would welcome refugees, after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended the U.S. refugee program and temporarily barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States—condemned the shooting as a "terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge."

"It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence," Trudeau said. "Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear."

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"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.

CBC News reports:

A witness who asked to remain anonymous told Radio-Canada that two masked individuals entered the mosque. 

"It seemed to me that they had a Québécois accent. They started to fire, and as they shot, they yelled, 'Allahu akbar!' The bullets hit people that were praying. People who were praying lost their lives. A bullet passed right over my head.

"There were even kids. There was even a three-year-old who was with his father," the witness said.

Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said early Monday that the dead ranged in age from 35 to 70.

The Montreal Gazette cited assistant director Patrick Lalonde of the Montreal police in reporting that in the wake of Sunday night's incident, police contacted Muslim leaders in Montreal and increased police presence around all mosques in the city. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also said police were providing additional protection for mosques in that city—while noting that "the awful attack in Quebec is not an outlier." He pointed to reports of an early-Saturday fire that destroyed a Texas mosque.

"It's getting very serious," the president of one Montreal mosque told CBC News. "Our lives are in danger."

Yet one journalist reported on Twitter that the Muslim community remains resolute following the attack:

CBC News has a live blog with updates.

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