Police in Quebec City confirm deadly shooting at mosque

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By Merieme Arif and Paula Newton

(CNN) — A shooting at a mosque in the Canadian city of Quebec has left an unknown number of people dead and wounded.

The attack, which took place at the city’s Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, was confirmed by the Quebec City Police department via Twitter.

One person has been arrested, the department said. A previous statement indicated that two arrests had been made. It’s not clear what caused the discrepancy.

Police said in a later tweet that the situation was “under control.”

“The site is secure and the occupants (of the mosque) were evacuated. The investigation continues.”

A statement on the mosque’s Facebook page urged caution.

“Please wait for preliminary results (of the investigation) before circulating rumors,” it says. “The situation is very critical. May Allah give us endurance.”

At least five people were injured in the incident and are at the University Hospital of Quebec. Other victims are in hospitals throughout the city, hospital spokesman Richard Fournier tells CNN.

Previous incident

Last year, the cultural center received a wrapped pig head and a magazine with a pig on its cover, saying “Bonne Appetit,” according to a post on its Facebook page. The post reads:

“We just learned that a gesture of hate towards our Great Mosque took place Sunday morning (14 Ramadan) around Salat Al-Fajr! Police was made aware and opened an investigation! We will keep you updated as soon as we have news…”

Under the Quran, pork is prohibited and pigs considered unclean.

Condemnation

Canada’s leaders condemned the attack on social media.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences in both French and English.

“Tonight, Canadians grieve for those killed in a cowardly attack on a mosque in Quebec City. My thoughts are with victims & their families.”

The Canadian province’s premier, Philippe Couillard, said Quebec would support Muslims.

“Let’s unite against violence,” the post reads. “We stand in solidarity with the Muslim people of Quebec.”

Security beefed up in other cities

South of the Canadian border, the New York Police Department said that it was monitoring the situation in Quebec and has directed that “special attention” would be given to all New York City mosques and other houses of worship, according to a statement.

“Critical Response Command (CRC) personnel have been assigned to extended tour coverage at certain mosque locations,” the statement reads.

The city is one of the focal points of protests against President Trump’s travel ban, which seeks to exclude any travel from a number of Muslim-majority countries.

CNN’s Tony Marco, Julia Jones and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.