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Hate instigates driver to run truck over Muslim family to kill them in Canada

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Hate instigates driver to run truck over Muslim family to kill them in Canada
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A makeshift memorial for the victims was set up at the scene of the attack / Reuters

Toronto: The incident in which four members of a Canadian Muslim family were killed on Sunday after a truck ran over them has been found to be a deliberate attempt by a 24-old-driver who breached a traffic signal with the intention to kill them out of Muslim hate.

Police in London, Ontario said the victims are a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl.

A nine-year-old boy remains in hospital in serious condition. The family requested the names not be released.

The family was waiting at the intersection when a black pickup truck, driven by 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, mounted the curb and struck them.

Soon after the incident, Veltman wearing a vest "like body armour" fled the scene on Sunday evening, and was arrested at a mall seven kilometres (four miles) from the intersection in London.

Veltman has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

"This was an act of mass murder perpetuated against Muslims," Mayor Ed Holder said. "It was rooted in unspeakable hatred."

"There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate. It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim," said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight of the London Police. "There is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims."

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said in a statement that the attacker should face terrorism charges.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that he was horrified by the attack.

"To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday's act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in a hospital -- our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover," Trudeau said.

"To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable -- and it must stop," he added.

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TAGS:Canada Islam hate crime 
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