WORLD-Terror in Canada
Soldier killed, city on lockdown
OTTAWA – A gunman shot and killed a soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa, then ran into the parliament building where he exchanged gunfire with police.
One gunman is dead, but parts of Canada’s capital remain on lockdown as police hunt for more suspects.
At a Press conference, police said the situation was “ongoing” and “fluid”.
It came hours after Canada raised its terror threat level, after another soldier was killed on Monday in a hit-and-run attack by a Muslim convert.
The country earlier this month announced plans to join the United States-led campaign of air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.
But there is no confirmation any of this week’s attacks are linked to IS or the new military campaign.
The latest incident began when soldiers guarding the memorial came under fire this morning.
One gunman – said to be carrying a rifle – fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament.
“Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52 am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted.
A statement by Ottawa Police confirmed the soldier had died from his injuries.
Dozens of shots were fired inside the parliament building, Canadian MP Marc Garneau told the BBC.
According to Reuters news agency, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing Cabinet at the time.
Harper “is safe and has left Parliament Hill”, his director of communications later said.
One gunman inside the parliament was reportedly shot dead and a second guard wounded, according to local media.
Shots were reportedly fired at a nearby shopping centre, but police later said they had no confirmation of activity there.
Police told those in the vicinity of central Ottawa to stay away from windows and roofs as they searched for additional suspects.
The nearby University of Ottawa was placed on lockdown, as well as all local police buildings and the US Embassy.
Marc Coucy of Ottawa Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that officers were looking for “multiple suspects” in shootings at three locations.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters American officials have been in “close touch” with Canadian counterparts.
A call between Harper and United States President Barack Obama was also being arranged at Harper’s “earliest convenience”, he added.
A government official earlier said the raised terror threat level was in response to an increase in online “general chatter” from radical groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Yesterday a Muslim convert was killed by Quebec police after deliberately hitting two soldiers in his car, killing one and injuring another.
A minister said it was a “terrible act of violence against our country”.