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Final funeral held for Quebec City mosque shooting victims

The mosque shooting victims were a scholar, a butcher, a daycare operator, a food industry worker, a public servant and a computer programmer -- all connected by faith.

Published: 03rd February 2017 11:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2017 11:44 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

Quebec City: Mourners gathered at the Quebec City convention center Friday for the funeral of the last three of six men shot dead while praying at a local mosque earlier this week.

The service began midday with traditional Friday prayers, followed by an Islamic funeral ritual.

Up to 6,000 mourners were expected to pack into the convention center to pay their respects to Guinean-Canadians cousins Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, and Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, of Moroccan origin.

The commemoration follows another funeral for three other victims held Thursday at a Montreal arena, which was attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Another sad day where we gather to reflect on the lives that have been torn from us," Trudeau said as he arrived at Friday's service.

The mosque shooting victims were a scholar, a butcher, a daycare operator, a food industry worker, a public servant and a computer programmer -- all connected by faith.

They had been attending evening prayers at their mosque in Quebec City when a 27-year-old student stormed in and unleashed a barrage of bullets from a pistol and semi-automatic rifle.

The suspect later surrendered to police and was charged with six murders and five attempted murders.

Four of the wounded in the attack remain in hospital.

"The whole nation has been shaken by this brutal and hateful attack, but in these dark moments our country has united and showed solidarity," Trudeau said at Friday's ceremony.

Trudeau again called on Canadians to "unite in love, and reject division and hate."

Earlier, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard spoke to reporters about the need to speak out against bigotry and to crack down on hate speech to prevent a repeat of last Sunday night's tragic events.

"Practically speaking we need to be more active around security, and all these social media and extremist statements are monitored by security forces," he said.

A Toronto rabbi, meanwhile, lead an interfaith effort to form "rings of peace" or human chains around mosques across Canada during midday prayers, after many in the Muslim community said they have felt unsafe in Canada since the attack.

As the shooting victims were mourned on Thursday a Montreal mosque was vandalized. The city's police hate crime unit has also reported a spike in hate-related complaints.

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