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Trudeau Vows to 'Dismantle' Hate Groups After Family Killed

Canadian PM attends vigil for Muslim family
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 1:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Tuesday to take more action "to dismantle far-right hate groups" after three generations of a Muslim family were killed Sunday night in an apparently targeted attack. "This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities," the PM said while speaking before Parliament. Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name was not released; were killed during their evening walk when a pickup truck plowed into them. The couple's 9-year-old son was injured and remains hospitalized, but is expected to survive, Reuters reports. The family immigrated to Canada 14 years ago, the AP reports.

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"If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital?" Trudeau continued. "How can we look families in the eye and say 'Islamophobia isn’t real'?" Later Tuesday, he attended a vigil for the family outside their mosque. Suspect Nathaniel Veltman, 20, faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and terrorism charges are also possible. Authorities say the attack was planned, but Veltman did not know the victims. It's also not yet clear whether he was a member of any specific hate groups. (Read more Canada stories.)

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