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Canadian man charged with terrorism in killing of four members of Muslim family

·1-min read
Nathaniel Veltman in court on Monday (VIA REUTERS)
Nathaniel Veltman in court on Monday (VIA REUTERS)

A man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in Ontario, Canada, has been charged with an act of terrorism, according to officials.

The man, 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, was charged with four counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder on Monday for driving into the family in London, Ontario, last week.

He will reappear in court following the terrorism charges, which followed almost a week of investigations, CBC News reported.

On 6 June, Mr Veltman drove his truck into five members of a Muslim family — killing four, and severely injuring a child, Fayez, who remains in hospital.

The child’s immediate family were killed in the attack, and were identified as Salman Afzaal, 46, Madiha Salman, 44, Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Talat Afzaal, 74.

Sarah Shaikh, from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), told Mr Veltman in court on Monday that investigators believed the family were targeted for being Muslim.

"Mr Veltman, you are now charged with four counts of first-degree murder,” said Shaikh. “In addition to the allegation that these murders were planned and deliberate, the further allegation is that they also constitute terrorism.”

In a statement on Monday, the London Police Service said it “wish[es] to re-assure the public that there is no further known or suspected threat to the public associated to the accused at this time”.

"The investigation is ongoing and will continue to be a collaborative effort between the London Police Service and RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team”.

The charges, which are still to be proven in court, follow a funeral for the victims on Saturday.

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