terrorist shooting

Student and 'supporter of right-wing politics' charged with murder of six at Quebec mosque

The other detained man is being described as a witness.

Updated 11.11 pm

CBC News / YouTube

A MAN HAS been charged with the murder of six people after last night’s shooting at a mosque in Quebec, Canada.

The man has also been charged with five further charges of attempted murder.

The accused has been named by Canadian media as political science student Alexandre Bissonnette.

Bissonnette studies political science at the University of Laval, a French-language university in Quebec City, according to Le Soleil.

Students have said that that Bissonnette “had political ideas on the right,” and was obviously “pro-Trump.”

Two people were arrested following the shooting but police said later this afternoon that one was being treated as a witness.

Canada Mosque Shooting Vigil A woman places flowers for victims of the shooting. Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press/AP Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press/AP / The Canadian Press/AP

One of the detainees was arrested near the mosque, while a second surrendered himself to police and confessed to taking part in the killing, said Quebec police inspector Denis Turcotte.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned as a “terrorist attack” the deadly assault Sunday night on the Islamic Cultural Center, one of the worst attacks ever to have targeted Muslims in a western country.

US President Donald Trump telephoned Trudeau to offer condolences.

“President Trump expressed his condolences to the prime minister and people of Canada following the tragic shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Quebec,”  the White House said a statement.

It remained unclear what prompted the attack.

“It is a domestic investigation at this time,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Martin Plante, while shedding no light on the suspect’s motives.

CBC News / YouTube

Police said they responded to the initial reports of the shooting at 7:55 pm local time (00:55 Irish time), arriving within minutes at the mosque where they arrested one of the suspects.

About 15 minutes later, emergency services received a call from a man identifying himself as one of the assailants, and telling police where they could find him.

He was apprehended in his car at 9:00 pm about 20 km outside of Quebec City. He is between 25 and 30 years old, said Denis Turcotte of the Quebec City police.

This morning, police searched a residence near the mosque, which is not far from Laval University and the historic heart of the four-centuries-old city.

Denis Briere, rector of the university, condemned the “odious, inhuman terrorist act.” Local media said the two suspects may have been students at the school, but officials would not confirm this.

Of the eight wounded in the shooting, five remain in critical condition, said hospital spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis.

© – AFP 2017 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: Six people have died after gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Canada >

Read: Ethics probe begins into Justin Trudeau’s lavish island holiday >

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