Ford, Trudeau to attend vigil in London for victims of truck attack

"This is nothing short of a terrorist attack," says Premier

Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be among the dignitaries attending a vigil in London on Tuesday night for four members of a Muslim family that were mowed down by a pickup truck that police said was a targeted attack.

“This is nothing short of a terrorist attack on innocent people based on their faith and their religion and there is no place for that in Ontario,” Ford told reporters at Queen’s Park on Tuesday morning. “We are a community that sticks together and we will be united behind the Muslim community.”

The family was out for a walk Sunday evening when a pickup truck mounted the curb and plowed into them. Four family members between the ages of 15 and 74 were killed, and a fifth member of the family, a nine-year-old boy was seriously injured.

Yumna Salman, 15, grade 9 student (daughter); Madiha Salman, 44 PhD student in Civil engineering (mother); Talat Afzaal, grandmother, 74, family ‘pillar’; Salman Afzaal, 46, physiotherapist (father) – submitted by Afzaal family

The government is lifting a restriction on pandemic-related gatherings as a one-time gesture so “people can gather and grieve with the family and with members of the Muslim community,” said Ford. The vigil will be held at a mosque that the family attended.

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau described what happened in London as “a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred.”

A 20-year-old London man has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Politicians from across Canada have condemned the attack.

Pakistan’s prime minister said the London attack was as sign of growing Islamophobia in Western countries.

Even though police have not released the names of the victims, a statement was released by the family late Monday that identifies them as 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother.