Assailant with bear spray attacks Canada mosque
MONTREAL, Canada – A man armed with a hatchet and a spray used to repel bears attacked worshipers at a mosque Saturday in Canada but no one was seriously hurt, police said.
The 24-year-old entered the mosque in the town of Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, and sprayed people before being subdued by members of the congregation until police arrived and arrested him.
Some members of the congregation sustained minor injuries from the bear spray.
At this point investigators think the incident was an isolated act and are considering hate as a possible motive, police said in a statement.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put out a tweet condemning the assault as “incredibly disturbing.”
“I strongly condemn this violence – which has no place in Canada – and I’m keeping the community in my thoughts today,” Trudeau wrote.
Other public figures joined in the chorus of condemnation including the mayor of Toronto and the Ontario provincial prime minister.
The imam of the mosque, Ibrahim Hindy, praised the courage of the worshipers who subdued the attacker.
“Our community will never be broken and we refuse to be intimidated,” he tweeted.
In June in Ontario, a man driving a pick-up truck deliberately ran over a Canadian family of Pakistani origin, killing four people.
Police said it was a case of Islamophobia.