Funeral held for Canadian soldier slain in ′terrorist act′ | News | DW | 28.10.2014
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Funeral held for Canadian soldier slain in 'terrorist act'

Thousands of people have lined the streets of an Ontario city to pay their respects to one of two Canadian soldiers killed in attacks last week. The authorities have described both killings as acts of terror.

Canadian soldiers, including those from slain Corporal Nathan Cirillo's unit, marched with the coffin as it was taken through the streets of his hometown, Hamilton, to the city's Christ's Church Anglican Cathedral, where the funeral was held.

Among those who spoke at the funeral was the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, who addressed some of his comments to Cirillo's five-year-old son.

"May time ease the searing pain of today. And may his son, young Marcus Daniel Cirillo, some day find comfort in the fact that our entire country looks up to his dad with pride, with gratitude with deep abiding respect," the prime minister said.

The 24-year-old Cirillo was holding an unarmed ceremonial watch at Canada's war memorial in Ottawa one week ago when he was shot dead by a lone gunman. The gunman was subsequently shot dead by House of Commons security after he had entered the nearby Parliament building.

His is the first of two funerals for soldiers slain in Canada last week, to be followed by a service near Montreal on Saturday for Patrice Vincent, a 53-year-old warrant officer who was killed when a man ran over him and a fellow soldier with his car. The man was shot dead by police. The authorities have described both incidents as terrorist attacks.

Kerry: attack a 'terrorist act'

Also on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Ottawa to express condolences to the Canadian people after the attacks.

Although the Canadian government has described both incidents as "terrorist attacks," some have questioned whether the attackers were motivated by an Islamist ideology or were merely mentally unstable. Kerry backed the Canadian government's assertion.

"Clearly, anybody who walks up in a premeditated way with a loaded rifle and attacks someone in uniform then purposely goes to a parliament, is committing, by commonsense standards, a terrorist act, Kerry said.

He also said the two neighboring countries, which already cooperate closely on matters of security and intelligence, intended to swiftly come up with "some tweaks, some changes, some additions that will promote even greater security than we have today."

pfd/es (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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