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PM stresses on need of combating Islamophobia in western countries

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he was saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario.

Imran Khan, in a tweet, said that the condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophobia needs to be countered holistically by the international community, he stressed.

A man driving a pick-up truck slammed into and killed four members of a Pakistani family in the south of Canada’s Ontario province, in what police said Monday was a “premeditated” attack.

A 20-year-old suspect wearing a vest “like body armor” fled the scene after the attack on Sunday evening, and was arrested at a mall seven kilometers (four miles) from the intersection in London, Ontario where it happened, said Detective Superintendent Paul Waight.

“We believe this was an intentional act and that the victims of this horrific incident were targeted,” Police Chief Steve Williams said. “We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith.”

The 20-year-old alleged attacker struck five people in the hit and run attack, police 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, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter

– Who were the victims? –

Among those killed in the incident on Sunday night were a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, police announced Monday. A 9-year-old boy was in a serious condition, but was expected to survive. The family requested the victims names not be made public.

A family friend, Zahid Khan, told the Associated Press that the four were a grandmother, father, mother and teenage daughter.

Khan said the family had immigrated from Pakistan 14 years ago and were dedicated members of a local mosque.

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