At least five people are reported dead after a mosque in Quebec City, Canada was attacked by multiple gunmen, according to media reports.
Police have arrested two of the three gunmen, the reports say.
The attack reportedly happened during evening prayers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on Sainte-Foy St., in the provincial capital of Quebec, reports Canadian broadcaster Global News.
Three gunmen opened fire on a group of around 40 worshippers, killing five and injuring others, according to witnesses. Police have set up a security perimeter around the mosque and are still searching for the third suspect.
Highways have also been closed off in the area.
The Islamic centre has been the subject of protest last summer, when an unknown person delivered a pig’s head to the mosque during the Islamic religious festival of Ramadan. Under Islamic law, pigs are a forbidden contaminant, or “haram.”
Police have not identified the men in custody and no motive has been mentioned.
However, one of the men is reportedly 27-years-old and to have an ethnic French last name. Police did say that one of the attackers used an AK-47, a gun that is banned in Canada under the current gun legislation.
“It seemed to me that they had a Quebecois accent,” a witness told the CBC. “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.”
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 30, 2017
The Facebook page of the mosque has posted video of the police presence in the aftermath of the attack.
Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard expressed his condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter, calling the attack a “barbaric act” and saying that Quebec rejects violence.
Le #Québec rejette catégoriquement cette violence barbare. Toute notre solidarité aux proches des victimes, des blessés et à leur famille.
— Philippe Couillard (@phcouillard) January 30, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also expressed condolences, saying, “Tonight, Canadian mourn victims of the cowardly attack in a mosque of Quebec. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
Ce soir, les Cdns pleurent les victimes de l'attaque lâche dans une mosquée de Québec. Mes pensées sont avec les victimes et leurs familles.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 30, 2017
Police say they are treating it as a terrorist attack.
La police traite maintenant l'attaque contre la mosquée de Sainte-Foy comme un attentat terroriste, a appris La Presse.
— La Presse (@LP_LaPresse) January 30, 2017