BREAKING: Shooting at Quebec City mosque, at least 5 dead
There has been an attack in Canada on a Quebec City mosque, leaving six dead and nineteen wounded, five in critical condition. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have called shooting an act of terrorism.
LATEST UPDATE: While there were initially two suspects arrested, the local authorities have since said one is being treated as a witness. CBC has confirmed that the name of the suspect is Alexandre Bissonnette, 27. He faces six charges of first-degree murder and five charges of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm. He is studying anthropology and political science at the nearby Laval University.
Quebec City Police say several people are dead after shots were fired inside a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night during evening prayers.
Multiple people are also feared wounded. Their condition is not known at this time.
A few dozen people were inside the Islamic cultural centre of Quebec in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood when the shooting began just after 8 p.m.
Quebec City Police Constable Étienne Doyon said mostly men were gathered at the mosque for evening prayers.
The director of the centre said at least five people were killed, but that information has not been confirmed by police.
Two suspects have been arrested, one of whom was apprehended after a chase that ended near l'île d'Orléans.
A large perimeter has been set up around the mosque.
The NZ Herald was quick to decry the event as Islamophobic, connecting the attack with a pig's head being left at the cultural center in June, 2016, and citing that "incidents of Islamophobia increased in Quebec in recent years." CBC has since confirmed no link between the two incidents.
Shortly after the CBC story aired, there was an update with a witness report:
A witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBC's French-language service Radio-Canada that two masked individuals entered the mosque.
"It seemed to me that they had a Quebecois 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," said the witness.
We will update this story as information comes in. [Last updated 31/01/2017 12:30.]