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Driver kills 10, injures 15 plowing van into Toronto sidewalk crowd

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A driver deliberately plowed his white Ryder rental van into a lunch-hour crowd in Toronto on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 along a roughly mile-long (1.6-km) stretch of sidewalk thronged with pedestrians, police said.

Although the attack had the hallmarks of recent deadly vehicle assaults by Islamic State supporters in the United States and Europe, federal officials said it did not represent a larger threat to national security.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders identified the suspect as Alek Minassian, 25, who he said had not previously been known to authorities. Police, who quickly arrested Minassian, do not know his motives.

“The actions definitely looked deliberate,” Saunders told a late-night news conference close to the site of the incident in the northern section of Canada’s biggest city, noting the van had been driven along sidewalks.

The brutal incident – which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “tragic and senseless attack” – was one of the most violent in recent Canadian history.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, standing next to Saunders, said: “There would appear to be no national security connections.”

Global Television said Minassian would appear in a Toronto court at 10 am ET (1400 GMT) on Tuesday.

The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, a major tourist destination. The city, which has a population of 2.8 million, recorded 61 murders last year.

“This kind of tragic incident is not representative of how we live and who we are,” Toronto Mayor John Tory told reporters. Downtown Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, which is normally lit up in the evening, went dark on Monday evening.

[Source: Reuters]
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