Two Africans from Guinea were among the six persons killed by A French-Canadian university student who attacked the Quebec City mosque on Sunday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the lone wolf shooting “a terrorist attack.”
The 27 year-old student, Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged Monday with premeditated murders.
He was also charged with five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon. The slightly-built Bissonnette made a brief appearance in court under tight security wearing a white prison garment and looking downcast.
Bissonnette, a student at Université Laval, was set to appear again on Feb. 21. No charge was read in court and Bissonnette did not enter a plea.
“The charges laid correspond to the evidence available,” said Thomas Jacques, a representative of the prosecutor’s office, when asked why Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism-related offences.
The two Guineans killed were identified as Ibrahima Barry, a father-of-four and Mamadou Tanou Barry, who left behind two boys.
Ibrahima came to Canada some few years ago and worked in information technology at the health insurance board of Quebec. He supported his immediate and extended family, both in Canada and in Africa.
Mamadou Tanou Barry, the second victim was Ibrahima’s cousin.
“Tanou lost his father three years ago, so it became his responsibility to support not only his family here but also his family in Africa,” said Moussa Sangare, friends to the two cousins . “Now that’s all been cut.”
The government of Guinea confirmed in a statement that two of its citizens were among those killed in the mosque attack.
The four other victims were a butcher, a university professor, a pharmacist and an accountant, according to police and Canadian media.
In Washington, U.S. government security experts were leaning to the view that the gunman most likely was motivated by hatred for Muslims, a U.S. government source familiar with official reporting said.
Trudeau, who has made a point of welcoming refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, told parliament in Ottawa: “Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack.”