Several Dead After Gunmen Open Fire During Evening Prayers

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Quebec authorities have released the names of the six people killed in a shooting attack at a mosque. Police later said one of them was just a witness, though they did not say which. He has been named by media as Mohamed Khadir, or Mohammed Belkhadir.

Explaining how one suspect was eventually let go, the RCMP said: "This morning and last evening we had reason to believe that two individuals should be arrested, that two people had participated".

"Tell them the door will always be open", she said.

Shortly after the shooting occurred, a heavily armed tactical squad was seen entering the building.

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At 8 p.m. the Québec City Islamic Cultural Center on Sainte-Foy Street was holding evening prayers, when three gunmen burst into the building and began shooting.

In June, someone left a bloody pig's head wrapped in cellophane and ribbon on the doorstep of the mosque, along with a note reading "Bonne appétit", as The Washington Post reported at the time. Mind games, we know. We will defend you. We will love you. "We must stand together", he added.

Martin St. Louis holds a sign that reads "la paix pas la guerre" (peace, not war) near the Quebec city mosque targeted in the deadly shooting.

Of the eight wounded in the shooting, five remain in critical condition, said hospital spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis. "It's a bad reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be pro-active, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. He gave no further details about of the call.

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Condemning the attack in a centre of worship and refuge, Mr Trudeau said Muslim-Canadians were an important part of Canada's national fabric and such senseless acts had no place in the community.

It comes amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Trump's ban on admitting refugees and travel restrictions on certain Muslim countries.

A father of four, the owner of a halal butcher near the mosque, was among those killed, said Pamela Sakinah El-hayet, a friend of one of the people at the mosque.

Mr Couillard said he would "not go there" when asked if he blamed rhetoric in the neighbouring US.

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