At least 10 people lost their lives and 15 sustained injuries after a man ploughed a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians on a sidewalk in Canada’s biggest city Toronto.
The police have claimed that it was a “deliberate” attack.
“The actions definitely looked deliberate,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told media.
Though the act seemed “deliberate,” officials did not identify a terror link. Canada has rarely been the scene of terror attacks.
The incident occurred around 1.30 p.m. on Monday when the van driver mounted the sidewalk of city’s famous Yonge Street and ploughed over people enjoying the first sunny day of spring.
He sped over a two-kilometre stretch till his van hit a bus shelter. The van driver has been identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian from the city outskirts Richmond Hill.
During the chase, when a lone police officer pointing a gun at the driver asked him to surrender, the suspect told him that he had a gun.
As the police officer shouted: “Get down, get down or you will be shot,” the suspect said: “Kill me.” However, he soon surrendered.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
(With agency inputs)