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Farewell given to Muslim household killed in truck assault with coffins draped in Canadian flags

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Individuals transport three flag-wrapped coffins on the funeral of the Afzaal household that was killed in what police describe as a hate-motivated assault, on the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Alex Filipe
  • The hour-long ceremony began after the 4 coffins draped in Canadian flags rolled into the compound of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario.
  • Ceremony ended with prayers and condolences provided by spiritual and group leaders.
  • The funeral procession later proceeded for a personal burial.

LONDON, ONTARIO: A number of hundred mourners joined a public funeral service on Saturday to bid farewell to a Canadian Muslim household run over and killed by a person in a pick-up truck final Sunday in an assault the police mentioned was pushed by hate.

The hour-long ceremony began after the 4 coffins draped in Canadian flags rolled into the compound of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, and ended with prayers and condolences provided by spiritual and group leaders.

The 4 victims, spanning three generations, had been killed when Nathaniel Veltman, 20, bumped into them whereas they had been out for a night stroll close to their residence in London, Ontario. A fifth member of the family, a 9-year-old boy, is recovering from his accidents within the hospital.

Police have mentioned the assault was premeditated and allege the household was focused due to their Islamic religion.

A police officer salutes as a funeral procession departs after a funeral of the Afzaal household that was killed in what police describe as a hate-motivated assault, outdoors the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada June 12, 2021. REUTERS/Alex Filipe

The funeral procession later proceeded for a personal burial.

“And the very fact their coffins are draped in the beautiful Canadian flag is an apt testimony of the fact that the entire Canadian nation stands with them,” Raza Bashir Tarar Excessive Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada informed the gathering.

The household moved to Canada from Pakistan some 14 years in the past.

The assault sparked outrage throughout Canada, with politicians from all sides condemning the crime, spurring rising calls to take motion to curb hate crime and Islamophobia. The town of London, 200 km (120 miles) southwest of Toronto, has seen an outpouring of help within the aftermath of the assault.

That has given some hope to the grieving group to look past the tragedy.

“Irrespective of colour and creed, the expressions of raw emotion, the prayers, the quiet tears, the messages of comfort from people we know and from people that are complete strangers, it has been the first step towards finding a way to heal,” Ali Islam, maternal uncle of Madiha Salman, one of many victims, informed the gathering.

Veltman, who returns to courtroom on Monday, faces 4 expenses of first-degree homicide and certainly one of tried homicide.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has referred to as the killings a “terrorist attack” and vowed to clamp down on far-right teams and on-line hate.

“I think we’re emotionally exhausted,” Imam Aarij Anwer informed the Canadian Broadcasting Corp earlier than the ceremony. “We’re looking forward to having some closure on Saturday.”

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