Ottawa shooting: Canadian prime minister says country 'will never be intimidated' following deadly attack

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the shooting was a reminder the country is 'not immune' to 'terrorist attacks'

Click to follow
The Independent US

The prime minister of Canada has declared the country "will never be intimidated" following the fatal shooting of a soldier in Ottawa but said it was a reminder the country is "not immune" to "terrorist attacks".

An attacker shot and killed a soldier guarding the National War Memorial on Wednesday. Shortly afterwards a gunman raced into the parliament building, where witnesses said up to 50 shots were fired before he was shot dead by the 58-year-old sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers.

Prime minister Stephen Harper, who was just a few yards away from the shooting talking to his legislators, has condemned the “brutal attack” and said Canada would continue to work with allies in the fight against extremist organisations.

In his first address to the nation since the attack, Mr Harper, who was evacuated from the building at the time of the shooting, said: “For the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent act on our soil. "In the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had. 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.

"In fact this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home.

"Just as it will strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organisations who brutalise those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

"They will have no safe haven."

web-ottawa-4-ap.jpg

The soldier has been named locally as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, with thousands praising him on social media.

Canadian officials have identified the man who they believe to be the shooter as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, born in Quebec. 

In his address, Mr Harper added that a suspect in an earlier attack on Monday, when a man allegedly rammed his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one and injuring the other, was an "Isil (Islamic State)-inspired terrorist".

David Cameron responded last night to the events on Twitter.

He wrote: "I'm appalled by today's attack in Ottawa. I offer my full support to pmharper and the Canadian people as they deal with this incident."

Additional reporting by Press Association

Comments