Peel Region police are investigating after a man entered a mosque in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto, on Saturday morning and attacked the people gathered for Fajr, dawn prayer, with bear spray. They say he was also "brandishing a hatchet."
Police were called to the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre, near McAdam Road and Matheson Boulevard East, at about 7 a.m.
A man was taken into custody, police say, and an investigation is ongoing. Some people suffered "minor injuries" from the bear spray, according to a Peel police news release.
At about 11 a.m., the mosque's imam, Ibrahim Hindy, posted on Twitter about the attack.
The man came in carrying an axe, pepper spray and other "sharp edged weapons," Hindy said.
Today at the Fajr (dawn prayer) at the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in Mississauga, our congregants were subject to a violent attack.<br><br>An individual came wielding an ax and carrying numerous other sharp edged weapons, as well as pepper spray. (1/3
"Several congregants bravely were able to stop him in his tracks," he said. "Our community will never be broken and we refuse to be intimidated."
Nadia Hasan, chief operating officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said there were about 20 people in the mosque at the time.
"A number of men who were there for prayer tackled [the armed man] and they apprehended him until the police came," Hasan said.
The imam said the centre would say more when there was more information about the attack. He urged Peel police "to continue to investigate all angles."
Hasan echoed Hindy's call, telling CBC News, "We are waiting to hear more about the motivation."
Peel police say a 24-year-old man has been taken into custody and investigators are "considering all possible motivations, including hate-motivation." Charges have yet to be laid.
Police say the incident "appears" isolated, but officers will remain in the area for support and community reassurance.
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca