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Canadians March Against Islamophobia After Truck Attack Kills Pakistani Immigrant Family

The procession culminated at a mosque about 7 kilometers away that caters to London's Muslim community of around 30,000 people.

Thousands of Canadians marched in London, Ontario, on June 11 to honor four members of a Muslim family run down in a truck attack last week that shocked the country.

The interfaith march began at the intersection where five members of the Afzaal family were struck on June 6 by a truck driven by a 20-year-old suspect police say carried out "a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate."

Salman Afzaal and his wife, Madiha Salman, were killed along with Afzaal's mother and their 15-year-old daughter as they waited to cross the street.

Their 9-year-old son, Fayez Afzaal, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The procession, organized to counter hate and Islamophobia, culminated at a mosque about 7 kilometers away that caters to London's Muslim community of around 30,000 people.

Rallies to mourn the Afzaals and other victims of violence against Muslims were also held in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Quebec, where a shooting at a mosque killed six people in 2017.

A burial for the Afzaals, who immigrated from Pakistan in 2007, was scheduled for June 12.

The suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, has been charged with four counts of premeditated murder and one count of attempted murder. He could be sentenced to life in prison.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a "terrorist attack," and authorities were said to be weighing possible terrorism charges.

Veltman was said to have been wearing body armor when he was apprehended after speeding away from the scene.

The attack kindled memories of an incident in 2018 when a man in a rented van mowed down pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 16 more.

A year earlier, a gunman opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, killing six worshipers and injuring eight more.

Based on reporting by AFP and The New York Times