Quebec mosque attack suspect charged with murder

Toronto, Jan 31 (IANS) Canadian police has charged Alexandre Bissonnette with six counts of first degree murder and five of attempted murder for the Sunday attack at a mosque in Quebec, a media report said on Tuesday.

Police believe Bissonnette, who was arrested a few hours after the attack on the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, is the only suspect in the case, Efe news reported.

A second man who was arrested shortly after the attack was now considered to be a witness.

According to his Facebook profile, which has already been erased, Bissonnette, 27, was born in Quebec and studied anthropology and political science at Laval University.

An organisation dedicated to welcoming refugees to the city said in a message posted on Facebook that Bissonnette was known for his favourable opinions of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s ultraright, and antifeminists both at Laval University and on the social media.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday told the millions of Muslims living in his country that Canada “is your home,” following the bloody attack on a Quebec mosque that left six dead and several wounded.

“You enrich our shared community in immeasurable ways. It is your home,” he said in addressing Canadian Muslims while speaking in the House of Commons.

The Canadian Prime Minister said the victims of the attack were “ordinary Canadians. They were brothers, uncles, fathers, and friends. These were people of faith, and of community.”

“The people who commit these acts mean to test our resolve, and weaken our values. They aim to divide us. To sow discord and plant hatred,” Trudeau told the lawmakers.

Laval University, near the mosque where the attack took place, is attended by many young students from North Africa and other Arab regions.

The attack on the Quebec mosque sparked outrage around the world. US President Donald Trump called Trudeau on Monday to express his condolences and offer any help Canada might need in the aftermath of the bloodshed.

–IANS

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