Police are calling the attack
Only one family member survived
Who were the victims?
An innocent family
Nathanial Veltman charged for the attack
Terrorism charges may be added
Authorities say it wasn't an accident
A terrorist attack
A vigil was held outside the London Muslim Mosque
Doug Ford speaks out
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan released a statement
The United Nations Secretary-General is
Arslan Shirazi shared that he wasn't surprised by the attack
The city of London has a large Muslim community
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Police are calling the attack "premeditated"

On Sunday, June 6th, a family of five went out for a walk in London, a town in the Canadian province Ontario. They were suddenly and forcefully struck by a pick-up truck, killing four of the five family members. Canadian police say that the attack was "premeditated."

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Only one family member survived

The only survivor is a nine-year-old boy, now orphaned as a result of the attack. The child is currently in hospital with serious injuries. It is the worst attack against Canadian Muslims since the Quebec City mosque attack in 2017, where six were killed.

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Who were the victims?

Salman Afzaal, 46, wife Madiha Salman,44, daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Afzaal’s mother, age 74, all died in this horrendous attack. The only son in the family, nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal, is the only survivor.

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An innocent family

According to Global News Canada, the family originally came to Canada from Pakistan. Afzaal and Salman were a kind and educated couple working as a physiotherapist and an environmental engineer. Their 15-year-old daughter was known for her fantastic smile and being a bright student. Fayez, the surviving son, is in the hospital for injuries. Family friends say that the child does not to know that his family passed away in the accident.

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Nathanial Veltman charged for the attack

Nathanial Veltman, age 20, has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Following the attack, police located Veltman at a nearby shopping centre, just 6km from the crime scene.

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Terrorism charges may be added

At a news conference on Monday, June 8th, Det. Supt. Paul Waight (pictured) stated that police are considering adding terrorism charges, as they believe Veltman's actions were a hate crime. Det. Supt. Waight said, "It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim."

(Photo: GlobalNews.ca)

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"...no known previous connections between suspect and victims..."

The BBC reported that Det. Supt. Waight stated,"There is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims," and that Veltman appeared to be wearing a body amour vest.

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Authorities say it wasn't an accident

The black pick-up truck went over the curb on Hyde Park Road (pictured) around 8:40 pm on Sunday, and authorities have stated that the good weather and the high visibility rules out the possibility of the incident being an accident.

(Photo: CBC News)

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A terrorist attack

On Tuesday, June 8th, federal political leaders took time to reflect on Islamophobia in Canada during special speeches at the House of Commons. CTV News reported that PM Justin Trudeau called the killing of the Muslim family in London a "terrorist attack."

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"...cowardly, and brazen act of violence."

In his speech on Tuesday, Trudeau said, “Their lives were taken in a brutal, cowardly, and brazen act of violence. This killing was no accident. This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities.”

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A vigil was held outside the London Muslim Mosque

A vigil attended by thousands of people was held outside the London Muslim Mosque to mourn the loss of the Afzaal family and condemn the attack.

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Doug Ford speaks out

Doug Ford, Ontario's Premier, among other provincial and local politicians, attended the Tuesday night vigil and spoke out against the act of terrorism. According to Global News Canada, Ford said, "We are all shaken by this act where we're left trying to understand how this could happen in a beautiful country and a beautiful province like Ontario."

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"Who can fathom this kind of hate?"

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar released a statement on Monday night about the violent killing. Omar said it is a "cruel reminder" that anti-Muslim hate is "deadly and alive in the West."

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Pakistan's PM Imran Khan released a statement

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said, said that the incident revealed growing Islamophobia in Western countries. "Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community."

(Photo: Instagram@imrankhan)

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The United Nations Secretary-General is "appalled" by the attack

Antiónio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, also released a statement regarding the attack. Guterres said he is “appalled” and that his heart goes out to the victims, surviving family, loved ones, and the Muslim community.

(Photo: Instagram@antonioguterres)

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Arslan Shirazi shared that he wasn't surprised by the attack

On social media, Canadian Arsalan Shirazi posted about how with the discrimination that Muslims face, it is really no surprise terrorist attacks such as this occur.

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The city of London has a large Muslim community

According to the 2016 census, the city of London, Ontario, is increasing in diversity. In London, which is located just 200km southwest of Toronto, one in five people were born outside of Canada, and Arabs are the largest minority group in the region.

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"Islamaphobia is real"

As Canadians mourn this tragic event, it is essential to keep Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's words from his speech on Tuesday at the House of Commons in mind. "Islamaphobia is real. Racism is real."

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