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Canadian white supremacist who killed Muslim family gets life sentence

A Canadian white supremacist who deliberately ran over four members of a Muslim family has been sentenced to life in prison for the murders.

Nathaniel Veltman, 23, was convicted in November of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the attack that shocked Canada

Salman Afzaal, 46; his wife, Madiha Salman, 44; their daughter Yumnah, 15; and Afzaal’s mother, Talat, 74, were killed. The couple’s nine-year-old son suffered serious injuries but survived.

The family had been out for a walk near their home in the town of London, Ontario, at the time of the attack.

The judge in the case said Veltman’s attack represented an act of terrorism, the first time that the term has been used to describe white nationalist violence.

“I find that the offender’s actions constitute terrorist activity,” Judge Renee Pomerance of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice said at this sentencing on Thursday.

The 2021 attack was the worst against Canadian Muslims since a man gunned down six members of a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

Prosecutors noted Veltman had written a manifesto in which he outlined hatred of Islam and opposition to mass immigration and multiculturalism.

Shortly after the assault, Veltman said, “I did it. I killed those people.”

Veltman pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder. His defence, citing what it called Veltman’s mental challenges, said the actions amounted to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

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