Canada: Thousands mourn mosque shooting deaths in Quebec
Feb.3, Quebec: Thousands of people have gathered in Montreal to mourn and honour the memory of three of the six Muslim men who were killed as they prayed at a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday evening.
The families of Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane and Aboubaker Thabti were joined by members of the public, Muslim religious leaders, and political figures in Quebec, during a public funeral service on Thursday afternoon.
Belkacemi, Hassane and Thabti’s caskets were on display at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, draped in the flags of Tunisia and Algeria, the men’s countries of origin. Their bodies will be repatriated to their home countries for burial.
"We are here together to mourn the loss of Canadians who tragically left us last Sunday. They leave behind beloved families, friends, colleagues, and a sense of emptiness in this country," said Chayma BenHaj, who presided over the funeral.
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"Through death, these brave men … united people from different nationalities, colours, genders and religions. They united all of Canada. Today, it is with solidarity, compassion, and love that we cry the loss of these fathers," BenHaj said.
Thabti, Hassane and Belkacemi were killed when a gunman opened fire in a prayer room at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on Sunday. In total, six men were killed, and more than eight others were seriously injured in the attack.
Originally from Tunisia, Thabti, 44, was a pharmacist and the father of two young children.
Hassane, 41, was from Algeria, and had three young daughters. “I lost a husband, a father and a friend,” Hassane’s wife, Louiza, told Radio-Canada.
The Oslo Times International News Network