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The Canadian province of Quebec is reeling after a harrowing shooting attack at a mosque in Quebec City left six dead and eight others wounded. The country’s prime minister blasted the shooting as a terrorist attack against Muslims and the timing of the incident is especially jarring considering the political climate of their neighbors to the south.

The Chronicle Herald reports:

The victims of a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque were fathers, businessmen, a university professor and others who had gathered for evening prayers, a Muslim community leader said Monday as he recalled through tears the horror of the attack that killed six and injured 19 others.

“It’s a very, very big tragedy for us,” said Mohamed Labidi, the vice-president of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, the mosque where the attack happened Sunday night. “We have a sadness we cannot express.”

Labidi said the victims were shot in the back.

“Security at our mosque was our major, major concern,” he said. “But we were caught off guard.”

The shooting took place just before 8 p.m. Sunday. Witnesses described chaos as worshippers scrambled to find friends and loved ones, while police responding to the scene called for backup.

According to reports as of Monday morning, the two suspects are named Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed el Khadir. As this story develops, we will return with updates.

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