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Hundreds Mourn Pakistani-Born Family Killed In Canada Attack

Canadians join an interfaith march following the killings of a Muslim family in an attack police have called a hate crime.

Hundreds of mourners attended a public memorial service for a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim family run over and killed by a man in a pickup truck last week in what police have labeled a hate crime.

In the June 12 service in the Canadian city of London, the four coffins of the Afzaal family members were draped in Canadian flags on the grounds of the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario.

The service ended with prayers and condolences offered by religious and community leaders in memory of the victims.

Salman Afzaal and his wife, Madiha Salman, were killed on June 6 along with Afzaal's mother and their 15-year-old daughter as they waited to cross the street.

Police allege that Nathaniel Veltman, 20, ran into them while they were out for a walk near their home in London, some 200 kilometers southwest of Toronto. A fifth family member, a 9-year-old boy, was injured and is recovering in the the hospital.

Police said the attack was planned and say the family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.

Raza Bashir Tarar, the high commissioner for Pakistan to Canada, told the service that "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."

The family moved to Canada from Pakistan 14 years ago.

The incident sparked outrage throughout the country, with politicians from all sides denouncing the crime.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the killings a "terrorist attack" and vowed to crack down on far-right groups and online hate.

Thousands of Canadians joined an interfaith march in London on June 11 to honor the victims.

The procession, which organizers said was aimed at countering hate and Islamophobia, culminated at a mosque about 7 kilometers away that serves London's Muslim community of about 30,000 people.

Veltman, who is scheduled to return to court on June 14, faces four charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.

Witnesses said he was wearing body armor when he was caught by police after speeding away from the scene.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and The New York Times
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