Canada: At least 10 killed in mass stabbings. All you need to know about the incident

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Authorities in Canada are searching for two men who are responsible for the brutal stabbing incident that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Sunday (September 4) in the Saskatchewan province. The shocking incident happened in the sparsely populated indigenous community. 

Canadian Prime Justin Trudeau called the mass stabbing “horrific and heartbreaking.” On his official Twitter handle, Trudeau wrote, “The attacks in Saskatchewan today are horrific and heartbreaking. I’m thinking of those who have lost a loved one and of those who were injured.” 

Here’s what we know so far about the incident

How did the incident take place? 

In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore with the RCMP Saskatchewan said that the first stabbing report came at 5:40 am (local time) in the James Smith Cree Nation. 

Minutes after that, they received reports and calls of other stabbings, at a total of 13 separate locations. 

The next hours emerged to be extremely chaotic for the authorities in the region as Saskatchewan RCMP sent out multiple alerts and updates on the stabbings. They also issued a Dangerous Persons Alert for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. 

ALSO READ | Canada mass stabbing: 10 killed, 15 hurt in Saskatchewan province; hunt on for two suspects 

Who are the suspects? 

Blackmore also informed that the callers identified the suspects. After the initial probe, the police named the two suspects identified as Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30. 

Images and descriptions of both were also provided. However, no further details about their motive or the victims were given out.

As per the reports and eyewitness accounts, the alleged attackers fled in a vehicle. 

The police said that the two men were seen travelling in a black Nissan Rogue. 

Were indigenous people the targets?

The incident took place in the region which is sparsely populated by an indigenous community but the assistant commissioner said authorities believe “some of the victims were targeted by the suspects and others were attacked randomly.” 

“To speak to a motive would be extremely difficult at this point in time,” Blackmore added. 

In Canada, indigenous people account for less than 5 per cent of the entire population of about 38 million. Reports have claimed that they suffer from higher levels of poverty, unemployment and a lower life expectancy than other Canadians. 

ALSO READ | Pope says ‘zero tolerance’ against Catholic Church sexual abuse cases 

What did the police say? 

After the incident, the police issued warnings as their bulletins urged people to report any suspicious people and to take precautions, including sheltering in place. They also warned against picking up hitchhikers or approaching suspicious people. 

One advisory read: “Do not leave a secure location. Use caution allowing others into your residence.” 

Stabbing incidents in Canada

The recent incident reminds the world of several other stabbings that took place in various parts of the country as Canada has witnessed similar incidents. 

In 2020, a gunman, who at one point masqueraded as a police officer, killed at least 16 people in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. 

In 2017, a man opened fire during evening prayers at a mosque, killing six people and wounding five. 

In 2016, a student killed his two brothers at home before opening fire at a remote community high school, killing two more people. 

In December 2014, a man killed eight people, including his wife, before killing himself. 

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