OTTAWA, CANADA: Canada’s prime minister vowed Wednesday to redouble the nation’s fight against “terrorist organizations” after a soldier was gunned down in the capital and parliament was stormed by an assailant.
“Canada will never be intimidated,” Stephen Harper told the nation in a televised address.
“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home,” he said.
Likewise, it will “lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores,” he added.
“They will have no safe haven.”
The prime minister’s address came as authorities lifted a lockdown in downtown areas of Ottawa except in the parliament building itself.
The attacker, identified in the Canadian media as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was considered a “high risk” suspect whose passport had been confiscated to prevent him fighting abroad.
He shot and killed a Canadian soldier who was mounting a ceremonial guard at a war memorial and stormed the parliament building nearby, before being shot dead in turn by the assembly’s sergeant-at-arms.
Harper said the incident was a “grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”
“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all,” he said.
Harper also told Canadians more would come out “about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.”