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Five dead in Quebec mosque shooting

up to three gunmen stormed the mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers [Twitter]

Date of publication: 30 January, 2017

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Five people have been killed after gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday during evening prayers, as worldwide uproar over Trump's "Muslim ban" continued

Five people were killed after gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, during evening prayers.

Up to three gunmen fired on about 40 people inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center, witnesses told Reuters.

Police confirmed there had been fatalities but declined to give a number of victims. A number of people have also been injured.

Two people have been detained.

"There are many victims ... there are deaths," a Quebec police‎ spokesman told reporters.

"Why is this happening here? This is barbaric," said the mosque's president, Mohamed Yangui.

Yangui, who was not inside the mosque when the shooting occurred, said he got frantic calls from people at evening prayers. He did not know how many were injured, saying they had been taken to different hospitals across Quebec City.

In June 2016, a pig's head was left on the doorstep of the cultural centre.

The incident comes as protests and panic met US President Donald Trump's "Muslim ban" which blocks nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

Trump also slapped an outright ban on accepting Syrian refugees.

In response, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told refugees they were welcome in the country.

Incidents of Islamophobia increased in Quebec in recent years amid a political debate over banning the niqab, or Muslim face covering.

In 2013, police investigated after a mosque in the Saguenay region of Quebec was splattered with what was believed to be pig blood.

In the neighbouring province of Ontario, a mosque was set on fire in 2015, a day after an attack by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris.

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