At least ten people have been killed in a series of knife attacks in rural Canada. 15 injured were also taken to hospitals for treatment, police in the province of Saskatchewan said Sunday. “We have 13 active crime scenes that we are investigating,” Officer Rhonda Blackmore said. A manhunt has been launched for two male suspects, aged 30 and 31, in a black SUV.
Blackmore initially made no statement about a motive. “It appears that some of the victims were targeted and some were chosen at random,” Blackmore said. “Therefore, it would be extremely difficult to name a motive at this point.” Police expect other injuries to have gone to hospital on their own.
Victims attacked on indigenous reservation
The victims were attacked in the James Smith Cree Nation reservation, which has a population of about 3,400, and in the 200-population village of Weldon, which is designated for Indigenous residents, Canadian media reported. The first emergency call was received at 5:40 am and further attacks from nearby crime scenes were reported in the minutes that followed. Shortly after 7 a.m., the police issued a first warning to the population. Four hours later, the two suspects were said to have been seen in the provincial capital of Regina, almost 300 kilometers to the south.
A statement from indigenous officials said the attacks could be drug-related. “This is the devastation we see when dangerous illegal drugs enter our communities,” said a representative of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. The group represents 74 indigenous groups in Saskatchewan.
Search for two suspects in three provinces
Police are looking for the two suspects in the province of Saskatchewan and in the neighboring provinces of Manitoba and Alberta (pictured above). The area of these three provinces in central Canada is more than five times the area of Germany. “At the moment we have no indication that they have traveled to another province, but since they are in a vehicle we cannot be 100% sure where they are at this time,” Blackmore said. “The priority now is to locate them and make sure we have them in custody.”
Particular attention is paid to the provincial capital of Regina with about 230,000 inhabitants. There, people were asked to stay in a safe place and not to pick up hitchhikers. Additional troops were also ordered for a match at a football stadium.
“The attacks in Saskatchewan are horrific and heartbreaking,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter. “I think of those who have lost loved ones and those who have been injured.”
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.