Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has described the shooting of a soldier at Canada’s National War Memorial and subsequent gun battle at Parliament Hill as having the “hallmarks of a terror attack”.
Speaking on the Today show, Bishop said members of the Canadian Parliament “were very shaken by this violent incident”, adding she had already contacted Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird who was in parliament when the shooting took place.
“He sent me a text while he was inside Parliament Hill, which was still in lockdown,” she said.
Despite her claims of the shooting having potential implications related to terrorism, Canadian authorities have not reported any links to terrorist activities.
“It has the hallmarks of a terror attack,” Bishop said.
“For some time, terrorist organisations like ISIL have been threatening countries like Australia and Cananda… specifically threatening institutions like parliament.”
Australia’s national security committee will meet later today to discuss the incident.
Australia’s embassy in Canada was locked down during the shooting but those in the building have since been permitted to leave.
There are reports the Australian Federal Police have beefed up security outside the Canadian high commission in Canberra.
In early September the terror threat level in Australia was raised from medium to high and security at Parliament House in Canberra was ramped up to protect against potential attacks, including snipers.
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