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Police have evacuated children from a daycare centre just outside Canada's capital after two men died in a shooting.

Gatineau Police Chief Mario Haren said all 53 children were safe and unharmed.

He said police received a call about an armed man with a shotgun threatening people. They arrived to find the man dead with a shotgun beside him and a second, unidentified employee of the centre also dead. He said the shooting seemed to be related to a recent separation between a couple.

"We have two deceased. One of the males is responsible for this shooting. The other male works at this daycare centre," Mr Haren said. "Right now we're investigating that this was related to a recent separation between a couple."

The daycare centre sits across the street from a hospital in the suburb of Quebec city, just across the river from Ottawa.

Sergeant Jean-Paul LeMay said the shooting happened at two houses which serve as a daycare centre. He said police received a report of a shooting in the morning.

Sgt LeMay said the children were safe at a nearby house. He would not release details on who was killed or if the youngsters witnessed the shooting.

Terror-stricken parents and guardians scrambled to retrieve their children. It was not immediately clear how much of the incident might have transpired in front of the youngsters. One parent called it terrifying and said it was every parent's worst nightmare.

The shooting initially raised fears of a far worse incident in Quebec, where memories are still fresh from the December massacre of 20 children and six educators at an elementary school in a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school.


From Belfast Telegraph