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Canada Toronto Attack Murder

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Police question van driver after 10 killed in Toronto

Police in Toronto inspect the rental van used to ram pedestrians on Monday 23rd April 2018. Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

At least 10 people have died after a man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Canada's biggest city Toronto on Monday, in what police dubbed a "deliberate" attack.

Police identified the van driver as 25-year-old Alek Minassian, who lives in a Toronto suburb and has no police record.

Police said they hoped interrogating him would reveal the motive of the attack which took place at lunchtime.

At the time of his arrest he was holding an object in his left hand as police squared off with him, according to photos seen on social media.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told journalists that 15 people remained in hospitals throughout the city adding that local, provincial and federal investigators were probing the case.

Alex Shaker, who witnessed the scene from his car told local media that the van rammed into anything in its way, both people and objects.

"He was going really fast," he told CTV television. "All I could see was just people one by one getting knocked out, knocked out, one by one," Shaker said. "There are so many people lying down on the streets."

Ministers meeting

The incident occurred as Toronto was hosting foreign and public security ministers from the G7 nations - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the G7 meeting would continue as planned into Tuesday.

Ralph Goodale, the minister of public security, told the press shortly after the incident that "on the basis of all available information at the present time, there would appear to be no national security connection to this particular incident".

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to the victims saying the "tragic and senseless attack" had brought him "great sadness".

Vehicle attacks have been carried out to deadly effect in a number of cities aroiund the world, including London, Paris, New York and Nice.