Vancouver event marks third anniversary of Quebec City mosque shooting

Al Jamia Masjid Vancouver is planning an interfaith service Wednesday night

A Vancouver mosque will mark a solemn anniversary Wednesday night with a special ceremony.

Three years ago, on Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City and opened fire as evening prayers drew to a close.

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The shooting left six men dead — Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39 — and several others wounded.

Al Jamia Masjid Vancouver (655 West Eighth Ave.) will mark the anniversary with an interfaith service, prayers, poetry and remembrance. The event starts at 6 p.m.

Members of Vancouver city council are expected to be in attendance. On Jan. 21, city council unanimously passed a motion from Coun. Jean Swanson designating Jan. 29 as a day of remembrance and action against Islamophbia.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the anniversary by calling on Canadians to honour the memory of the victims by fighting Islamophobia and other forms of hatred and discrimination.

"Today, we mourn those who were senselessly killed, and suffered at the hands of ignorance, Islamophobia, and racism," Trudeau said in a statement.

"We share the pain of their children, spouses, friends, and neighbours, who were robbed of their loved ones far too soon. Our thoughts are also with those injured, whose lives forever changed after this brutal and inhumane attack."

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to the killings and last year was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for 40 years — a sentence that was the subject of appeals by both the Crown and defence during a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal Monday.

- With files from The Canadian Press

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