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Hijab Cutting Incident Did Not Happen, Toronto Police Say

(CNN) — Toronto police say an alarming incident reported by an 11-year-old girl — that a man cut her hijab as she walked to school — did not happen.

A police spokesman would not provide specifics but said the evidence didn’t support the girl’s account.

“It’s very rare for an allegation to be investigated and we later find out that it does not happen,” spokesman Mark Pugash said Monday.

Police said the investigation has concluded.

CNN has reached out to the girl’s family but has not received a response.

At a Friday news conference, police said a man approached the child from behind on Friday morning as she made her way to school with her younger brother.

He pulled the hood off the girl’s jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.

The girl said she screamed and the man ran away, but he returned a few minutes later to assault her again.

“I felt really scared and confused,” said the, girl, Khawlah Noman, when she appeared at the Friday news conference.

Police said then that they were investigating the incident, which happened in a neighborhood known for its diversity, as a hate crime.

Reports of the hijab cutting garnered international attention, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning the alleged attack.

The Toronto District School Board on Monday issued a statement: “We are very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen. We won’t be commenting further.”

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Khawlah Noman was walking to her Toronto school when a man suddenly appeared behind her and cut her hijab, police said.

“I felt really scared and confused,” the 11-year-old girl said at a news conference Friday.

The man approached the child from behind Friday morning as she made her way to school with her younger brother. He pulled the hood off the girl’s jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.

Khawlah screamed and the man ran away, but he returned a few minutes later to assault her again, she said.

Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime. It happened in a Toronto neighborhood known for its diversity.

“My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning’s cowardly attack on her in Toronto,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday on Twitter. “Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this cannot be tolerated.”

Police described the suspect as 5 feet 7 inches with a thin build who was between the ages of 20 to 30. He was wearing black prescription glasses, a black hooded sweater, black pants and brown gloves, police said.

School officials notified police and Khawlah’s family immediately after the girl reported the incident to them, according to the Toronto District School Board.

“This is shocking to learn of this assault. And we’ll be working closely with police to offer any assistance that we can,” Ryan Bird, a school board spokesman, told CNN partner CBC. “In the meantime, we’re offering support to the impacted student and her family.”