Canada's PM Trudeau calls killing of Muslim family "terrorist attack"

Photo: AP Canada's PM Justin Trudeau places flowers at a vigil for the victims in London, Ontario, 8 June 2021.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on Tuesday labeled the killing of four members of a Muslim family in the city of London, Ontario on Sunday as a "terrorist attack," which he said was carried out with "Islamophobic" intentions. He promised to redouble efforts to fight far-right groups. "This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities," Trudeau said during a speech at the House of Commons.

Those killed, who were struck as they walked together along a sidewalk, represent three generations of the same family, according to a statement issued by their relatives. The husband and wife, plus their teenage daughter and the man's mother were killed when a black pick-up truck mounted the curb and struck them at an intersection in the city of London in Canada's central Ontario province. The couple's nine-year-old son was hospitalized following the attack but is recovering, the statement said.The family is of Pakistani origin.The driver of the truck was arrested.

"They were all targeted because of their Muslim faith," Trudeau said, promising to step up the country's fight against far-right racist groups. "This is happening here, in Canada. And it has to stop."

The 20-year-old suspect, arrested shortly after the attack, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, while several leaders of the Muslim community have called on the courts to deem the episode a terrorist attack.

The episode brought back painful memories of a Quebec City mosque mass shooting in January 2017 that left six dead and a driving rampage in Toronto that killed 10 people in April 2018, among other attacks, AFP recalls.

 

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