Two men were detained on Sunday following an attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Canada when what was said to be two masked men entered the building during a prayer service and opened fire just before 8 PM. Six people were killed and over a dozen were injured, five critically, in what Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is calling a “terrorist attack on Muslims.” Two suspects had been arrested, however one was reportedly released as being just a “witness” to the crime.
Quebec City court clerk, Isabelle Ferland, identified the two suspects as Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed el Khadir. Police later said Mohamed el Khadir was considered to only be a witness and was released. Bissonnette is a student at the nearby Laval University. A motive is not yet known.
Over 50 people were taking part in the prayer service when the attack occurred. The six dead were all men ranging in age from 35 to 65. Witnesses say one of the two attackers was shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he shot the victims.
One suspect was arrested at the scene and another was arrested in his car a short while later after he called authorities to say that he wanted to cooperate.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a center of worship and refuge,” Trudeau said in a statement. “It is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear.”
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country,” he continued.
According to the Prime Minister’s office, U.S. President Donald Trump called Trudeau to express his condolences and to offer any assistance America’s northern neighbor might need.