Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gunman attacks parliament wounds guard


Ottawa - Although details are still sketchy an armed man emerged near the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill. He then shot four times wounding a guard. He then apparently was able to enter the parliament buildings.
The shooter is still said to be on the loose although one MP Bernard Trottier had tweeted that the gunman was shot and killed inside the Centre Block. The area has been sealed off by police and the guard who was shot has been taken to hospital. Police locked down parliament. Tactical Ottawa police arrived pointed guns at journalists and ordered them to the ground. Reporters were in lockdown in the foyer at the front of the House of Commons.
Stephen Harper, the prime minister, is reported safe and has left the parliament buildings. One Calgary MP Michelle Rempel tweeted to her mother that she was safe but that there were shots outside the caucus room. One body was reported visible from the Library of Parliament that is about in the middle of the Centre Block. It was not clear if the body was of the suspect or a law enforcement officer.
 This attack occurs after another incident Monday in Quebec in a hit and run event that ended up killing one soldier and injuring another. Martin Couture-Rouleah was being tracked by police as a person with potential terrorist links.The suspect was later shot and killed after a chase in which his vehicle overturned. He had deliberately run over the two soldiers and then sped away. Police had arrested Rouleau-Couture last July and confiscated his passport as he was about to leave for Turkey. He had converted to Islam about a year ago. The police did not have evidence sufficient to lay any charges at the time but he was under surveillance.
 Another report claims that two MP's said that the gunman had been killed but that this had not been confirmed. The attack came just hours after the government had raised its terror threat level from low to medium. Ottawa police tweeted: "Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52 AM today; one person injured." However, it is clear that several shots were also fired within the parliament buildings themselves. Earlier this month Canada decided to take part in the coalition fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq.