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Canadian PM Calls Parliament Attack as Second ‘Terrorist Attack’

After a soldier was killed and the Parliament was attacked on Wednesday, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper called it as the second terrorist attack that took place in three days.

The soldier was shot to death and the gunshots were being fired outside a room where Harper was speaking. As per reports, treasury board minister Tony Clement said, "PM (Harper) was addressing caucus, then a huge boom, followed by rat-a-tat shots. We all scattered. It was clearly right outside our caucus door."

Canadian police reportedly said that they could not "at this point" confirm whether the man who shot dead the soldier, who was guarding the National War Memorial in central Ottawa, was the same person who shortly afterwards attacked the nearby Parliament building.

While addressing the nation, Harper said, "We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated." As per reports, the person is identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Harper reportedly said, "In the days to come we will learn about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had."

However, after the incident, air defence forces were put on high alert and cities across the US increased security. The Canadian military closed its bases across the country to the public following the events in Ottawa. Also, across the Potomac River, security near Arlington Cemetery has increased, specifically at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

According to a White House statement, President Barack Obama reportedly spoke to Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the phone and offered any assistance Canada needed in responding to these attacks.

Stating the shootings as "outrageous acts," Obama said, "We’re all shaken by it." As more becomes known about the shooter’s motive, that information will be factored into US security considerations, he said. "We have to remain vigilant,"

"It’s very important, I think, for us to recognize that when it comes to dealing with terrorist activity, Canada and the United States has to be entirely in sync," Obama said.

Secretary of State John Kerry was also briefed on the shootings, according to State Department spokesperson Mary Harf.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his concern over the incident of attack and said it as “extremely disturbing.” In his micro blogging site, he tweeted, "The news of attack in Ottawa is extremely disturbing. I pray for everyone’s safety."

(With inputs from IANS)

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