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Canada gun death overshadows narrow win by Quebec separatists


A man fired a gun during a midnight victory rally for Quebec's new premier, killing one person and wounding another.

The new premier, Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Quebecois, was whisked off the stage and uninjured.

It was not clear if the gunman was trying to shoot Ms Marois, whose party favours separation for the French-speaking province from Canada.

Police identified the gunman only as a 50-year-old man. Police said he set a small fire behind the building before he was arrested.

Ms Marois returned to the stage after the shooting and asked the crowd to peacefully disperse.

Police said they do not know the gunman's motive, but say the suspect, while being dragged toward the police cruiser, shouted in French: "The English are waking up!"

Ms Marois returned to the stage after the shooting and asked the crowd to peacefully disperse.

The suspect was wearing a blue bathrobe over black clothes.

Camera footage showed a pistol and a rifle at the scene.

Emergency medical workers said one victim was pronounced dead at the scene and a second person was wounded. A third person was treated for shock.

The separatist party won the election, but failed to win a majority of legislative seats.

Though the Parti Quebecois wants the province to break away from Canada, its victory is unlikely to signal a new push for independence.

Opinion polls show little appetite for a separatist referendum after previous ones had been rejected by voters in 1980 and 1995.

Ms Marois herself has left much uncertainty about if and when one would be held, but her party will push for more autonomy from the federal government.

The attack took place just after Ms Marois began speaking in English - a rare occurrence in a speech at a partisan PQ event.

She had promised English-speaking Quebecers that their rights would be protected, following an emotionally charged campaign that saw her party focus on language-and-identity issues.

Earlier in the evening, people in the crowd booed when they heard outgoing Liberal premier Jean Charest speak English in his concession speech. Mr Charest spent nearly 10 years in power.