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A small community in northern Quebec is said to be in shock after two young boys in the community were severely beaten, reportedly by other children in the community.

Police in the Atikamekw community of Manawan, Que. can only confirm that two children were airlifted out of the community for medical care.

The younger boy, just 3 years old, is in critical condition at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal. His five-year-old brother is in stable condition. Location of Manawan, Que. CTV Montreal’s Max Harrold reports that the boys were bullied and beaten in a playground Tuesday evening. The three-year-old was forced to eat sand, which got into his lungs, requiring urgent care.

Harrold spoke to one resident in the community who said residents are in shock that older children are accused of beating the younger children. The allegations are particularly upsetting since there are already anti-bullying programs in the town, the resident said.

Youth protection officials are helping the families of both the victims and the young suspects

The Atikamekw of Manawan has a population of just over 2,000 people, and is located 300 kilometres north of Montreal, in the Lanaudiere region.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Max Harrold

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