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Canada not to be ‘intimidated’ by terrorist threats — PM Harper

October 23, 2014, 7:33 UTC+3 OTTAWA
The Canadian capital of Ottawa is on high security alert after a series of deadly shootings hit the city
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Canadian prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) during briefing on the shootings at Parliament Hill

Canadian prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) during briefing on the shootings at Parliament Hill

© P Photo/Canada Prime Minister Office

OTTAWA, October 23. /TASS/. Canada will not be ‘intimidated’ by recent deadly attacks on its soldiers, the accomplices to terrorist attacks will be established and detained, while the North American country will continue fighting international terrorism, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in the wake of deadly shootings in Ottawa.

The Canadian capital of Ottawa is on high security alert after a series of deadly shootings hit the city on Wednesday morning first taking place at the National War Memorial, where a soldier was shot dead, and then moving on to the country’s Parliament.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said in his address to the nation. “But this week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”

“But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” he said.

“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores,” the Canadian prime minister said adding “They will have no safe haven.”

At approximately 9:50 a.m. a suspect clad in black and reportedly carrying a double-barrel shotgun fired at a guard of honor at the World War One War Memorial in downtown Ottawa and then, according to eyewitnesses, ran in the direction of the country’s parliament.

Shortly after the attack at the War Memorial, gunfire erupted inside the Parliament, where an armed suspect attempted to battle his way through the building, wounding at least two law enforcers on his way. The suspect was killed by police in return fire.

The Canadian Press reported that it was Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons and 29-year RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) veteran, who shot the gunman in the parliament.

According to CNN, the killed gunman, who went on a shooting spree in Ottawa, was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian-born citizen.

Reuters reported that the suspect was born in Canada in 1982 and was known as Michael Joseph Hall before he changed his name after converting to Islam.

The guard of honor, shot dead at the War Memorial, was identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist based out of Hamilton, Ontario.

The Parliament was locked down immediately after the shooting and Prime Minister Stephen Harper safely left the building as police was cordoning off the area.

The series of deadly Ottawa shootings swiftly provoked international concern on behalf of world leaders, who expressed their condolences.

US President Barack Obama spoke with Harper after the shootings and later told journalists that time needed to establish motivations behind the tragic events and whether it was an individual act or a part of a broader conspiracy.

"We don't yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting. We don't yet have all the information about whether this was part of a broader network, or plan, or whether this was an individual, or series of individuals, who decided to take these actions,” Obama told journalists.

The series of deadly shootings comes only couple of days after another suspect on Monday hit with a car two Canadian soldiers and one of them pronounced dead later in a hospital. That suspect, 25-year-old Martin Couture Rouleau, was later chased and shot dead by police.

According to western media, Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau were social media friends, who were often exchanging comments on Twitter and FaceBook.

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