Ottawa, Oct 1 (IANS) A policeman in Canada’s Edmonton city was rammed by a motorist who then attacked him with a knife on Saturday night while four pedestrians were hit by a van later in a pair of suspected terror attacks, reports said.
Canadian Police say they are investigating possible acts of terrorism after multiple incidents in the capital city of Alberta province, reported the BBC. It was however not immediately clear if the van driver, who was subsequently arrested, was behind the first attack too.
According to police, a police officer controlling traffic at a Canadian Football League game was struck by a car at high speed and then attacked with a knife multiple times by the driver who then fled abandoning the vehicle.
Shortly afterwards, a van driver rammed into four pedestrians at least. He was chased and arrested by police.
Police said that an Islamic State flag was found in one of the vehicles and has been seized as evidence.
While the policeman did not have any life-threatening injuries, the condition of the pedestrians was not known, said the BBC, citing police.
Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said the officer and his vehicle were rammed by a white Chevrolet Malibu at about 8.15 local time (4.15 GMT) outside Alberta’s Commonwealth Stadium.
“The vehicle struck the police officer, sending him flying into the air 15 feet, before colliding with the police officer’s cruiser again at a high rate of speed,” he said, reported CNN.
Information about the vehicle’s registered owner was broadcast to patrol officers, said Knecht.
Hours later, a man driving a rental van was pulled over at a checkpoint after his name on documents seemed “very similar” to the one police were looking for.
“The U-Haul truck then immediately fled the scene, and was pursued by police officers toward downtown Edmonton,” the police chief said.
The driver, a 30-year-old male, “deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians” during the police chase and was arrested after his vehicle overturned, said police, adding that “based on evidence at the scenes and the actions of the suspect”, these incidents are being investigated as “acts of terrorism”.
Police said the arrested individual had been known to authorities. They said they currently believe the suspect acted alone, but haven’t ruled out the possibility of others being involved.