OTTAWA – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday termed the killing four members of a Muslim family of Pakistani origin as a “terrorist attack”.
“This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” Trudeau made comments during a speech at the House of Commons.
A driver ran over the Muslim family of five, killing four of them while injuring a child in a planned attack on the Muslims, Canadian police said on Monday.
The 20-year-old suspect, Nathanial Veltman, arrested shortly after the attack. He has been booked under charges of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Several leaders of the Muslim community have urged the courts to classify the incident as an act of terrorism.
According to Canadian authorities, two women, aged 74 and 44, a 46-year-old male, and a 15-year-old kid of the Muslim family were killed in a “premeditated” automobile assault in the province of Ontario on Sunday.
“It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” Deputy Superintendent Paul Waight told a news conference on Monday.
He said police are considering terrorist charges and that the incident is thought to be a hate crime.
The incident was not the first of its kind. In 2017 six people were killed at a mosque in Quebec City.
Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed his condolences and condemned the brutal murder of a Muslim Pakistani family in London, Ontario.
“This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community,” the PM stated in a tweet.