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At least 10 people were killed and 15 injured Monday in a multiple hit in the city of Toronto, in Canada, police said.
The incident occurred at around 1:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m.), a white van went up on the sidewalk at the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue.
The suspicion was identified by authorities as Alek Minassian, 25, who was arrested several blocks from the scene after a tense standoff with policemen in the street, although there were no shots.
The deputy head of the Toronto police, Peter Yuen, said he asked the witnesses to talk to the authorities.
A few hours later, the city’s police chief, Mark Saunders, told a news conference that the incident appeared to be deliberate but that the reason was unknown.
Saunders also reported that Minassian was not previously known by the authorities.
The van was rented, as confirmed by the company Ryder System Inc, which added that it was collaborating with the investigation.
The Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto reported receiving seven patients and closing the emergency room as an “additional precaution.”
“Many people did not see the attack but were shocked that something like this could happen in a busy but, usually, quiet street,” the BBC correspondent Jessica Murphy described from the place.
Screams and panic
” The reports are that a white van got on the curb, drove down the sidewalk south to Yonge Street, south of Finch Avenue, and rolled over about ten people, although the numbers are not confirmed yet,” he said shortly after. of the incident the Toronto police spokesman Gary Long to the Canadian media Global News .
About 30 kilometers away from there, in the center, meetings were held by foreign ministers that make up the G7 of industrialized countries, among which are Canada, USA, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Italy and Germany.
One of the witnesses of the incident, Reza Hashemi, told the BBC that he heard screams from the other side of the road.
“The driver must have studied the neighborhood before,” he said. “He drove on the sidewalk, ran over people and returned to Yonge Street to again ride on the sidewalk, ” he added.
Hashemi said he saw four bodies covered with tarps on the floor.
Another witness recounted to local media what he saw: “I saw a white van riding on the sidewalk and many people shouted: ‘Stop the car!’, But he kept moving and hit some people and there were three that They remained on the ground without moving. “
“He was hitting everything in his path,” another witness told local news agency City News.
“People, hydrants, I saw how it was breaking into the mailboxes,” said the man, who did not identify himself and said he was driving behind the van during the incident.
While the van was moving, the man said he honked his horn to warn the pedestrians: “I saw how it was wounding at least six or seven people who flew in the air and were as dead on the street,” he said.
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, who is in the city of Ottawa, expressed his condolences to those affected by Twitter.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto,” he wrote in English and French.
Trudeau thanked the rescuers who attended the emergency and said that his government is “monitoring the situation closely.”
For its part, the mayor of Toronto, John Tory, called it a “very tragic incident.”
He went on to say that he had “offered all the assistance the city can provide to the police to assist in this investigation.”
The United States and Europe have seen an increase in attacks on board automobiles in recent years.
In October of 2017, a man killed eight people after rolling them with a van.