Hundreds of mourners gathered in the Canadian city of London on Saturday afternoon for the funeral of Muslim family run over and killed by a man in a pick-up truck in a hate terrorist attack.
Grieving mourners led four caskets draped in Canadian flags to the front of the public funeral ceremony, which was followed by a communal Muslim prayer.
“This is too heartbreaking to see three generations of a family just wiped out like that,” Holder said shortly before the start of the public funeral,” Ed Holder, the mayor of London, told CBC News before the ceremony began.
“We’re trying to comprehend the incomprehensible and none of this makes any sense, at any level, anywhere.”
The hour-long ceremony started after the four coffins draped in Canadian flags rolled into the compound of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, and ended with prayers and condolences offered by religious and community leaders.
“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 High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada told the gathering.
Ahead of Saturday’s funeral, a local imam said the service would serve as a crucial step in healing a grief-stricken community.
“I think we’re emotionally exhausted,” Aarij Anwer said. “We are grateful for everything that has happened since that horrific tragedy. We’re looking forward to having some closure on Saturday.”
Four Muslims, two women aged 77 and 44, a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, were killed Sunday when Nathaniel Veltman, 20, used a black pick-up truck to jump a curb and strike them.
A nine-year-old boy was seriously injured and is recovering in hospital.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the killings a “terrorist attack” and vowed to clamp down on far-right groups and online hate.