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Muslim family in Canada killed in 'targeted' truck attack

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
June 08, 2021 10:20 IST
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Three adults and one teen were killed in Canada's Ontario province on Sunday, in what the police believe, was a "targeted attack" on a Muslim family.

IMAGE: Misty Santerre and her daughter Jasmina react near flowers laid at the fatal crime scene where a man driving a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over a Muslim family in what police say was a deliberately targeted anti-Islamic hate crime, in London, Ontario, Canada. Photograph: Carlos Osorio/Reuters

A 20-year-old man was charged on Monday with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in a hit and run case, reported CBC.

The names of the victims aren't being released at this time, at the request of family members.

A nine-year-old boy remained in hospital with serious injuries.

Terrorism charges are also possible against 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, said Deputy Inspector Paul Waight.

 

Veltman appeared in court via video link on Monday afternoon, reported CBC.

Veltman was arrested a short distance away from the scene of the crash, at Oxford Street West and Cherryhill Boulevard, near Cherryhill Mall.

He was wearing a vest that appeared to be similar to body armour, Waight said.

"There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith," said Waight.

"This is a devastating loss of four members of our community," added Police Chief Steve Williams at an afternoon news conference.

IMAGE: Abdullah Alzureiqi and his daughter Hala say a prayer at the fatal crime scene where a man driving a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over a Muslim family in what police say was a deliberately targeted anti-Islamic hate crime, in London, Ontario. Photograph: Carlos Osorio/Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed grief over the incident and condemned the "hateful and heinous" act.

"I spoke on the phone this evening with @LdnOntMayor and @NTahir2015 about the hateful and heinous attack that took place in London, Ontario yesterday. I let them know we'll continue to use every tool we have to combat Islamophobia -- and we'll be here for those who are grieving," Trudeau tweeted.

Police say that at 8:40 pm ET, the family was walking along Hyde Park Road and were waiting to cross the intersection, in northwest London, when the truck mounted the curb and struck them, reported CBC.

Police received several 911 calls, and emergency crews quickly attended to the scene in an attempt to save the lives of the victims.

Post-mortems are scheduled for Tuesday at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto.

London Mayor Ed Holder expressed his condolences to the family and the city's Muslim community.

"This was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims -- against Londoners -- and rooted in unspeakable hatred," he said. "This act of unspeakable hatred, this act of Islamophobia, must be followed by acts of compassion, acts of kindness, acts of empathy, acts of solidarity -- justice -- and, above all else, love."

"These were innocent human beings who were killed simply because they were Muslim," said Nawaz Tahir, a lawyer who's a representative of the Muslim community.

"We will stand strong against hate. We will stand strong against Islamophobia. We will stand strong against terror with faith, with love, and a quest for justice. Hate will never overshadow the light of love," he said.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
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