About ten persons have been killed and not less than 15 wounded after two men went on a knife rampage in at least 13 areas in two communities in central Canada, according to police.
Police reacting to emergency calls on Sunday found 10 people dead in the Indigenous community of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby town of Weldon in Saskatchewan province, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore briefed a news conference.
“Several additional victims have been injured, 15 of which at this point have been transported to various hospitals,” she said.
Other victims may have made their way to hospitals on their own, she added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that the assaults were “horrific and heartbreaking” and the government was closely monitoring the situation.
“I’m thinking of those who have lost a loved one and of those who were injured,” he tweeted.
Police announced the two assailants as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson.
Officials disclosed that the two men, in their early 30s, were last seen traveling in a black Nissan Rogue and last spotted in the provincial capital of Regina, about 320km (200 miles) south of where the attacks occured.
Police in Saskatchewan announced a province-wide dangerous persons alert, with officials in neighboring Alberta and Manitoba a wide region almost half the size of Europe – later following suit.
The James Smith Cree Nation, with a population of 2,500, declared a local state of emergency.
Diane Shier, a nearby resident of Weldon, explained that she was in her garden on Sunday morning when she noticed emergency services close to her home.
Shier disclosed that her neighbor was killed. She did not want to identify the victim out of respect for their family.
“I am very upset because I lost a good neighbor,” she informed the Associated Press news agency.
“It is horrific what has happened in our province today,” the police’s Blackmore said.
“It appears that some of the victims may have been targeted, and some may be random. So to speak to a motive would be extremely difficult at this point in time,” she added.