MONTREAL, Canada–Canada paid tribute Saturday to a soldier run over and killed by a suspected jihadist last week in Quebec, just two days before a separate attack near parliament left another soldier dead. Prime Minster Stephen Harper, opposition leaders, and several officials attended the funeral of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, in the Longeueuil cathedral, south of Montreal. During a religious service closed to reporters, Harper spoke, as did some of the fallen soldier’s comrades.
Following the ceremony, around a thousand soldiers and police accorded Vincent military honors just outside the cathedral. The Canadian flag that covered the casket and Vincent’s cap were passed to his family and guns were fired in a ceremonial salute. Vincent, who joined the Canadian army in 1986 and was just months away from retirement, was mowed down on Oct. 20 in a parking lot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. A second soldier was also injured when Martin Couture-Rouleau smashed his car into the men. Shortly after, Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Muslim convert, called the police emergency line to dedicate his attack to the cause of jihad. As he was being chased by police from the scene, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed.
He was shot dead by police as he emerged from his wrecked vehicle holding a knife. The attack came two days before a gunman shot and killed a soldier on ceremonial guard at a war memorial in downtown Ottawa and then stormed into the nearby parliament building, where he was killed by police. Both were branded ��terrorist�� attacks by authorities, who also noted that Couture-Rouleau had his passport confiscated when he was trying to travel to Turkey, a popular entry point for would-be jihadists looking to fight in Iraq and Syria. On Tuesday, Canada mourned Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, the soldier killed in the second attack, in a funeral in Hamilton, Ontario also attended by the prime minister.