Muslim family killed in ‘premeditated’ truck attack

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Four members of a Muslim family were killed in a “premeditated” vehicle attack on Sunday, Canadian police say.

A pickup truck mounted the curb and hit the victims in the city of London, Ontario province. A boy aged nine, the family’s only survivor, is seriously injured in hospital.

A 20-year-old Canadian man has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Police believe the collision was a planned hate crime.

“It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” Detective Superintendent Paul Waight told a news conference.

Police are weighing possible terrorism charges, he said.

The victims were two women – aged 74 and 44 – a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. They have not been named, in accordance with the wishes of the family. A nine-year-old boy was in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, said police.

“This was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred,” said London Mayor Ed Holder.

It is not yet known if the attacker – named as Nathanial Veltman, 20, of London – has ties to any specific hate groups, said Mr Waight. He was arrested at a shopping centre about 6km (4.8 miles) from the crime scene.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was among those who paid tribute to the victims, tweeting: “Hate and Islamophobia have NO place in Ontario.”

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