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Funeral Held For 3 Quebec City Shooting Victims

  • VOA News

A mourner reacts during a funeral ceremony for three of the victims of the deadly shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Feb. 2, 2017.

"As-Salaam-alaikum," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday, Arabic for "peace be with you," while standing before the coffins of three victims of Sunday's shooting at a Quebec City mosque.

The funeral service at a Montreal hockey rink where nearly 5,000 mourners gathered to pay respects to Khaled Belkacemi and Abdelkrim Hassane of Algeria, and Aboubaker Thabti of Tunisia. The three coffins were draped with the flags of the native countries of the deceased.

"As a community and as a country, together we will rise from this darkness stronger and more unified than ever before. That is who we are," Trudeau said.

Quebec premier Philippe Coulliard also spoke at the service, which honored three of the six victims. "I want to tell Muslim Quebecers: You are at home here. We are all Quebecers," he said, sparking applause and cheers.

But because of a lack of Muslim burial space near the Quebec City homes of the three men, their bodies will be repatriated to Algeria and Tunisia.

A service for the other three victims -- Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry and Azzeddine Soufiane -- will be held Friday in Quebec City.

The six were killed Sunday when a gunman burst into their Quebec City mosque and began firing.

The shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette, has been arrested and charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder using a restricted firearm.

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