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2 Suspects Arrested After 6 People Are Killed In Canadian Mosque Attack

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called last night's attack on a mosque in Quebec a, quote, "terrorist attack on Muslims." At least six people were killed after gunmen opened fire during evening prayers. For the latest on this, we are joined now by Kelly Greig from the Canadian TV channel Global News. She joins us now from Quebec City.

Kelly, thanks for being with us.

KELLY GREIG: It's my pleasure. Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Walk us through what you can tell us about the details of the attack last night.

GREIG: It happened right in the middle of evening prayer. So there were about, police say, about 50 people inside the mosque at the time. Now there are six people who were killed. And you did mention there were eight wounded. But of those, six were critically wounded. So those numbers could change this morning.

From the information the police provided us, there were two arrests that were made. One was the suspect who was actually at the mosque on the scene. Another one was fleeing the scene and was arrested about 20 kilometers away, a few miles away. And so those are - those two suspects are both in custody.

Now there are people showing up to the scene this morning and getting as close as they can get just to get a look of where it happened. But mostly, the city is just completely in shock.

MARTIN: Do you know anything else about the two people who've been arrested?

GREIG: There are rumors flying around this morning. So far, police have not confirmed anything. What we do know is that they are two men. That is the only details we have. But we are expecting a...

MARTIN: They're two men, did you say, Kelly? I'm sorry. The line was...

GREIG: Yes, two men. Yes.

MARTIN: OK.

GREIG: But we are expecting a police update a little later this morning. So we're hoping to get more information on the suspects themselves.

MARTIN: This isn't the first time this particular mosque has been targeted either, right?

GREIG: It hasn't, no. It's actually been a recent target, too. Last year in June, a pig's head was left on the doorstep, (inaudible). Of course, this is something horrible and more of an affront to the, you know, practice of Islam. And there was also a threatening message left just weeks later in connection with that pig's head saying = what is worse, having a pig's head or having genocide? Now, at the time, everyone at the mosque was shaken, but they persevered. And they thought they had gotten through the worst. But of course, yesterday's acts just can't compare with the threat.

MARTIN: What's the reaction just within the community? I mean, is Quebec - is there a large Muslim community in Quebec?

GREIG: There are about three mosques in Quebec - I think there are four, actually - and Quebec is not even the largest city in the province. This is really a government town, a very quiet town. There's a very low crime rate. So for something like this to happen has, really, the residents shocked. And especially where the mosque is - it's right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. There are literally houses right next door to this mosque. So people coming out and, obviously, they saw what had happened last night. And they're just in complete disbelief. And there are many vigils and memorials that are planned across the province held tonight and later this week.

MARTIN: And just briefly, Kelly, are these isolated incidents? Or what can you tell us about larger anti-Muslim sentiment around Canada - and in Quebec in particular?

GREIG: Well, it's an interesting time for Canadians. It's just a...

MARTIN: And I think we've lost that line. That was Kelly Greig from Global News in Canada. She was talking about an attack that took place on a mosque in Quebec City yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF BONOBO'S "BLACK SANDS REMINIMIXED") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.