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World

Muslim family of four killed in 'premeditated' Canada truck attack

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was "horrified" by the attack.
08 Jun 2021

LONDON: A man driving a pick-up truck slammed into and killed four members of a Muslim family in the south of Canada's Ontario province, in what police said Monday was a "premeditated" attack.

A 20-year-old suspect wearing a vest "like body armor" fled the scene after the attack on Sunday evening, and was arrested at a mall seven kilometers (four miles) from the intersection in London, Ontario where it happened, said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight.

"There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate. It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim," he told a news conference.

The names of the victims were not released, but they include a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl -- together representing three generations of the same family, according to London mayor Ed Holder.

A nine-year-old boy was also hospitalized following the attack and is recovering.

"Let me be clear, this was an act of mass murder perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, rooted in unspeakable hatred," said Holder.

Identified as Nathaniel Veltman, the suspect has been charged with four counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Waight said local authorities are also liaising with federal police and the attorney general about adding "possible terrorism charges."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was "horrified" by the attack.

"To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday's act of hatred, we are here for you," he said, singling out the nine-year-old in hospital.

"To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. This hate is insidious and despicable - and it must stop," he added.

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