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Quebec mosque suspect charged with murdering six people

Agencies | Updated: 2017-01-31 07:02
Quebec mosque suspect charged with murdering six people

Alexandre Bissonnette, a suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque, is seen in a Facebook posting.[Photo/Agencies]

QUEBEC CITY - A French-Canadian university student was the sole suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque and was charged with the premeditated murderof six people, Canadian authorities said on Monday, in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called "a terrorist attack."

Court documents identified the gunman in the attack on Sunday evening prayers as Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, and charged him with six murder counts and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon.

The slightly-built Bissonnette made abrief appearance in court under tight security wearing a white prison garment and looking downcast. Prosecutors said all of the evidence was not yet ready and Bissonnette, a student at Université Laval, was set to appear again on Feb. 21. No charge was read in court and Bissonnette did not enter a plea.

"The charges laid correspond to the evidence available,"said Thomas Jacques, a representative of the prosecutor'soffice, when asked why Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism-related offences.

Among the six men killed were a butcher, a university professor, a pharmacist and an accountant, according to policeand Canadian media.

The government of Guinea said in a statement that two of itscitizens were among those killed in the mosque attack.

Police declined to discuss possible motives for the shootingat the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec.

"They consider this a lone wolf situation," a Canadian source familiar with the situation said.

In Washington, US government security experts were leaningto the view that the gunman most likely was motivated by hatredfor Muslims, a US government source familiar with official reporting said.

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