Thousands gather to pay tribute to Toronto van attack victims | News | DW | 30.04.2018
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Thousands gather to pay tribute to Toronto van attack victims

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has led a tribute to the victims of last week's van rampage in Toronto at an event which included speakers from multiple faiths. Eight women and two men were killed in the attack.

Thousands of Canadians have gathered in Toronto to honor those killed and injured in a van attack last Monday.

Ten candles, sheltered by tea light holders, were placed on a stage in memory of the eight women and two men killed when they were struck by a rental van driven along a sidewalk in the north end of Toronto. Sixteen others were injured.

Read moreDo bollards offer protection against vehicle attacks?

"Our sorrows are reflected in the eyes of the stranger beside to us. We stand together," said Reverend Alexa Gilmore of the Windermere United Church, opening the somber event.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General Julie Payette, who represented Queen Elizabeth II, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne were among the mourners at Toronto's Mel Lastman Square, just steps away from the street where the attack took place. 

'Toronto Strong'

"Love for all, hatred for none," was the message seen on large posters and blue T-shirts donned by the people at the "Toronto Strong" vigil, which included representatives from each of the city's diverse range of religious communities.

"Toronto has felt the pain of other cities" affected by vehicle ramming attacks, such as London, Paris and Berlin, said Rabbi Barud Frydman.

People also shared their messages on social media, including City Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam and Mayor John Tory.

Police say the suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, had targeted "predominantly women," as evidenced by a "cryptic" message he posted on Facebook minutes before the attack.

In the post, Minassian had called for an "Incel Rebellion." "Incel" — short for "involuntarily celibate" — is often used in connection with online groups of sexually frustrated men who are known to rant against women.

Minassian faces 10 counts of premeditated murder, as well as multiple attempted murder charges related to the injured survivors.

ap/cmk (AFP)

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