Student Charged Over Quebec Mosque Attack

Vigils for victims of the attack on Quebec City mosqueVigils for victims of the attack on Quebec City mosque

Canadian police have charged a French-Canadian student over the fatal shooting of six Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec.

Alexandre Bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder, BBC reported.

The 27-year-old briefly appeared in a Quebec City court over Sunday evening’s attack, during evening prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center. Vigils have been held across Canada to commemorate those killed and injured.

More than 50 people were at the mosque when the shooting erupted just before 20:00 on Sunday.

Nineteen people were wounded-all men-and of five people still in hospital, two were in a critical condition.

Bissonnette did not enter a plea as he appeared in court on Monday, wearing a white prison-issue jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled.

The suspect was arrested in his car on a bridge leading from Quebec City to Ile d’Orleans, where he called police to say he wanted to cooperate with the authorities.

According to local media, Bissonnette studied political science and anthropology at Laval University whose campus is about 3 km away from the mosque.

On his Facebook, Bissonnette reportedly “liked” US President Donald Trump and French National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both described the shooting as a terrorist attack. The shooting came amid heightened global tensions over Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim countries.

But the White House, which condemned the attack, said it was also an example of why the US president’s policies were needed.

White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said, “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”

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