Police in Toronto, Canada are now refuting an alleged attack on an 11-year-old Muslim girl that received widespread coverage and government condemnation last week.
"These allegations were extremely serious and not surprisingly, they received national and worldwide attention", said a spokesperson for the Toronto police department.
"We collected a lot of evidence including security camera video and interviews", Mark Pugash, the director of corporate communications with the Toronto Police, said to ABC News.
It was initially reported by Toronto police on Friday that the girl had been attacked by a man who came up behind her as she walked to school with her brother in eastern Toronto. Khawlah Noman said that she screamed at the man to make him leave her alone, but he later returned and tried to cut it off again.
Her mother Saima Samad, fighting back tears, said she had gotten a call from the school and was "very sad". "And we, as community members, all we want to do is think about this young girl - give her support - we don't want her to be vilified", said Elghawaby.
"My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion". It's not Canada because the incident never happened.
However police said Monday morning that after a thorough investigation, they don't believe the incident happened.
After hearing news of the incident, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne all condemned the alleged attack.
"I won't speculate how it arose or who was involved, but the investigation has concluded", Pugash said.
It was not immediately clear how police discovered the story was not true, or what will happen next with the girl.
The school board issued a release, Monday, saying it was happy the incident did not really happen, adding it would not be commenting further.