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Shots Fired at Canada's Parliament     10/22 11:56

   A gunman shot and wounded a Canadian soldier standing guard at a war 
memorial in the country's capital Wednesday, then entered Parliament, where 
numerous shots rang out, police and witnesses said.

   OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- A gunman shot and wounded a Canadian soldier 
standing guard at a war memorial in the country's capital Wednesday, then 
entered Parliament, where numerous shots rang out, police and witnesses said.

   People fled Parliament by scrambling down scaffolding erected for 
renovations, witnesses said. Others were in lockdown. Police with rifles and 
body armor stood guard outside and blocked the normally bustling streets 
leading to Parliament.

   Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy said it was unclear whether there was 
more than one shooter.

   The attack came two days after a recent convert to Islam killed one Canadian 
soldier and injured another in a hit-and-run before being shot to death by 
police. The killer had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared 
he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to 
Turkey.

   Canada had raised its domestic terror threat level from low to medium 
Tuesday because of "an increase in general chatter from radical Islamist 
organizations," said Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, a spokesman for the public 
safety minister.

   In Wednesday's attack, Soucy said shots were also fired at a shopping mall 
near Parliament. All three sites --- the National War Memorial, Parliament and 
the mall --- are within less than a mile from each other.

   The top spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Harper was safe and 
had left Parliament Hill.

   Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard 
inside Parliament, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly 
caucus meetings.

   "I'm safe locked in a office awaiting security," Kyle Seeback, another 
member of Parliament, tweeted.

   Royal Canadian Mounted Police warned people in downtown Ottawa to stay away 
from windows and rooftops.

   The wounded soldier was taken away in an ambulance. His condition was not 
immediately known.


(KA)


 
 
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