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Ottawa shootings: City in lockdown after soldier shot


Parts of Canada’s capital are in lockdown after a gunman shot a soldier at a war memorial, then ran into the parliament building where he exchanged gunfire with police.

One gunman has also been killed. Armed police are looking for one or more suspects.

More shots were fired outside a nearby shopping centre.

It came hours after Canada raised its terror threat level, after another soldier was killed on Monday.

Earlier this month, the country announced plans to join the US-led campaign of air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

But there is no confirmation any of this week’s attacks are linked to IS or the new military campaign.

The latest incident began when soldiers guarding the memorial came under fire on Wednesday morning.

One gunman – said to be carrying a rifle – fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament.

“Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted.

A minister later said the injured soldier had died, but this has not been confirmed.

Dozens of shots were fired inside the parliament building, Canadian MP Marc Garneau told the BBC.

According to Reuters news agency, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was addressing Cabinet at the time.

Mr Harper “is safe and has left Parliament Hill”, his director of communications later said.

One gunmen inside the parliament was reportedly shot dead and a second guard wounded, according to local media.

Then shots were fired at a nearby shopping centre.

Police told those in the vicinity to stay away from windows and roofs as they searched for additional suspects.

The nearby University of Ottawa was placed on lockdown, as well as all local police buildings and the US Embassy.

Marc Coucy of Ottawa Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that officers were looking for “multiple suspects” in shootings at three locations.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters US officials have been in “close touch” with Canadian counterparts.

A call between Mr Harper and US President Barack Obama was also being arranged at Mr Harper’s “earliest convenience”, he added.

A government official earlier said the raised terro threat level was in response to an increase in online “general chatter” from radical groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

On Tuesday a Muslim convert was killed by Quebec police after deliberately hitting two soldiers in his car, killing one and injuring another.

A minister said it was a “terrible act of violence against our country”.