Thousands mourn 7 Syrian siblings killed in Canada fire

Close to 2000 people attended the funeral service for the Syrian refugee family who lost seven children in a fire Canada. (Reuters)

Around 2,000 mourners attended the funeral on Saturday of seven children from a Syrian refugee family who died earlier this week in a house fire in Halifax, eastern Canada.

Ahmad Barho and siblings Rola, Mohammed, Ola, Hala, Rana and Abdullah – whose ages ranged from four months to 15 years – all perished in the as-yet unexplained blaze at their home on Tuesday.

Halifax Regional Police and Fire Honour Guard move one of the caskets of the Barho family children during their funeral service. (Reuters)

Halifax Regional Police and Fire Honour Guard move one of the caskets of the Barho family children during their funeral service. (Reuters)

Their father, Ebraheim Barho, suffered serious burns and remains in a medically induced coma in hospital, according to Canadian media. Their mother, Kawthar Barho, was less seriously injured. She was present at the funeral.

“I’ve attended many funerals but nothing like this, so please bear with me,” said Sheikh Hamza, who spoke at the moving ceremony, struggling to overcome grief.

Mourners listen during the funeral service for a Syrian refugee family who lost seven children in a fire. (Reuters)

Mourners listen during the funeral service for a Syrian refugee family who lost seven children in a fire. (Reuters)

The Barho family arrived in Canada in 2017, and were among an estimated 40,000 refugees received by the country since 2015.

The funeral, broadcast on several news channels, was carried out according to Muslim tradition.

Due to the number of people attending, it took place not in a mosque but in a cavernous hall on the Halifax waterfront, with all 2,000 seats full and several mourners standing.

Halifax firefighters listen during the funeral service for a Syrian refugee family who lost seven children in a fire. (Reuters)

Halifax firefighters listen during the funeral service for a Syrian refugee family who lost seven children in a fire. (Reuters)

“We have all been affected by this tragedy,” said Nova Scotia lieutenant governor Arthur Leblanc.

Member of Parliament Andy Fillmore said authorities were working to bring other members of the Barho family to Canada to support Kawthar Barho.

The burnt house where seven Syrian children from the same family died in Halifax, Canada. (Reuters)

The burnt house where seven Syrian children from the same family died in Halifax, Canada. (Reuters)

The tragedy provoked an outpour of sympathy across Canada, with a fundraiser for the family bringing in nearly half a million Canadian dollars ($380,000) in just a few days.

The seven small white coffins were accompanied by a guard of honor before being transported to a Muslim cemetery near Halifax.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:59 - GMT 06:59
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