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    Oct 24, 2014

    Canada 'not intimidated' by terror attack


    CANADA'S Prime Minister has vowed that the country will "not be intimidated" after a reported Muslim convert stormed Parliament and killed a soldier, the nation's second "terrorist" attack in days.

    The gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, whose name was on a terror watch list, attempted to force his way into Canada's Parliament on Wednesday before the assembly's Sergeant-At-Arms shot him dead.

    The attack - the second this week targeting Canadian military staff - came as Canadian jets were to join the United States-led bombing campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Iraq.

    "Canada will never be intimidated," Premier Stephen Harper told the nation in a televised address after the shootings.

    "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."

    The spectacular security breach came two days after 25-year-old Martin Couture-Rouleau, reportedly a supporter of ISIS and on the same watch list as Zehaf-Bibeau, ran over two soldiers in Quebec, killing one of them, in what officials branded a terrorist attack.

    In an audio recording of the attack on Parliament, repeated shots could be heard booming through its chambers.

    Zehaf-Bibeau had a record of drug offences and robbery.

    The 33-year-old was considered a "high-risk" suspect, according to reports; his passport had been confiscated to prevent him from joining terrorists abroad.

    He first shot and killed the soldier, who was on ceremonial guard at a war memorial on Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, before storming into the nearby Parliament building.

    The slain soldier was identified as Nathan Cirillo. At least three people were admitted to hospital with minor injuries.

    The attacker was killed, reportedly by a shot fired by the bearer of the House of Commons' ceremonial mace, Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers, who was hailed as a hero by lawmakers.

    Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said it appeared the shooter had acted alone.

    Lawmakers, staff and reporters who were evacuated from the historic building spoke of intense gunfire inside. Paul Clarke, a builder who was working in Parliament at the time, said: "It's just been a nightmare."

    Liberal Party member John McKay told reporters: "I heard this 'pop, pop' - possibly 10 shots, I don't really know."

    Passers-by told reporters that a bearded man had gunned down the soldier and hijacked a passing vehicle to take him the short distance to Parliament.

    The local media reported that the suspect - raised in Laval, Quebec, about 16km from Montreal - had an extensive criminal record, including robbery and drug charges to which he had pleaded guilty.

    The two attacks came days after the Canadian authorities warned that they were tracking 90 suspects, and "intelligence has indicated an individual or group within Canada or abroad has the intent and capability to commit an act of terrorism".