At least six people have been killed and eight were injured after two gunmen opened fire during a prayer service at a Quebec City mosque Sunday night in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack on Muslims.”
“It was with tremendous shock, sadness and anger that I heard of this evening’s tragic and fatal shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Quebec located in the Ste-Foy neighborhood of the city of Quebec,” he said in a statement.
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”
Le Journal de Quebec reported that the gunfire started at the Islamic center at around 8 p.m. There were approximately 40 people attending prayer service at the time of the shooting. The center's president Mohamed Yangui said the shooters reloaded at least three times.
Although the two suspects have been arrested, their identities have not been released. According to the Le Soleil newspaper, however, one suspect is 27 years old with a “Quebecois name” and witnesses say both shooters 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,” one person, who wished to remain anonymous, told Radio Canada.
This is not the first time the mosque has been targeted. In June, a pig’s head was left at the mosque’s door during Ramadan, the CBC reported, according to FoxNews.com.
"We were told that it was an isolated act, but today we have deaths," Yangui told reporters. "It is minutes and hours of terror and anguish."