Canadian police probe car attacks, stabbing as 'acts of terrorism'

TORONTO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Canadian police said they were investigating violent attacks in Edmonton on Saturday night as "acts of terrorism" after a man hit a police officer with a car and stabbed him, and later four pedestrians were struck with a second vehicle in a police chase.

Police arrested a suspect who they believe acted alone, though authorities have not ruled out the possibility that he acted with others, Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said at a Sunday morning press conference.

The victims were taken to the hospital for treatment and the officer's condition was not critical, Knecht said. Details on the condition of the other victims were not immediately available.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that federal authorities was working with local police on the case.

“While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against," he said in a statement.

RELATED: Terrorist blast on London underground train

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Terrorist blast on London underground train
An injured woman reacts outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: A police officer escorts an injured woman from the scene at Parsons Green Underground Station on September 15, 2017 in London, England. Several people have been injured after an explosion on a tube train in south-west London. The Police are treating the incident as terrorism. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: A police officer escorts an injured woman from the scene at Parsons Green Underground Station on September 15, 2017 in London, England. Several people have been injured after an explosion on a tube train in south-west London. The Police are treating the incident and terrorism. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Armed police officers walk through a carriage of a London underground tube train at Parsons Green station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A woman reacts outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
A man sits and waits in a London underground tube train at Parsons Green station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A woman reacts outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Police officers walk on the road near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
An injured woman is led away after an incident at Parsons Green underground station in London, Britain, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
People react near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police officers and sniffer dogs walk near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police officers stand on the road near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Police officers escort members of the public out of their inner cordon as they work near Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on September 15, 2017, following an incident on an underground tube carriage at the station. Police and ambulance services said they were responding to an 'incident' at Parsons Green underground station in west London on Friday, following media reports of an explosion. A Metro.co.uk reporter at the scene was quoted by the paper as saying that a white container exploded on the train and passengers had suffered facial burns. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks with her dog past police cordon near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Armed policemen stand outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Police officers escort members of the public out of their inner cordon as they work near Parsons Green underground tube station in west London on September 15, 2017, following an incident on an underground tube carriage at the station. Police and ambulance services said they were responding to an 'incident' at Parsons Green underground station in west London on Friday, following media reports of an explosion. A Metro.co.uk reporter at the scene was quoted by the paper as saying that a white container exploded on the train and passengers had suffered facial burns. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the London Fire Brigade stand by cordon near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People stand by an ambulance near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Police vehicles line the street near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Members of a bomb disposal squad stand in the street near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People speak with a police officer outside Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Armed policemen stand by cordon near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: The emergency services are seen near the police cordon at Parsons Green Underground Station on September 15, 2017 in London, England. Emergency services are investigating reports of an explosion at the West London tube station. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
An injured woman is led away after an incident at Parsons Green underground station in London, Britain, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Staff from a local Italian restaurant hands out pizza and water from a stall near Parsons Green tube station in London, Britain September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock of the British Transport Police makes a statement to the media after an incident at Parsons Green underground station in London, Britain, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: A forensic tent is seen next to the stopped tube train at Parsons Green Underground Station on September 15, 2017 in London, England. Several people have been injured after an explosion on a tube train in south-west London. The Police are treating the incident as terrorism. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
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Canada's Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted that Canada "will not be intimidated by terrorist violence." Canada's terror threat level remained unchanged at medium, where it has been since late 2014.

Police said the suspect, believed to be 30, crashed the car through a barricade and hit the officer at about 8:15 p.m. local time, sending him flying 15 feet into the air and against a police cruiser. The suspect then jumped out of the car, stabbed him and fled the scene on foot, police said.

Later that evening, police at a checkpoint identified a man driving a U-Haul vehicle as the owner of the Malibu.

The suspect fled the scene and deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians as police pursued him through downtown Edmonton, sending at least four people to the hospital with injuries, Knecht said.

Police arrested the suspect after the vehicle flipped over during the pursuit.

"We ask that our citizens remain vigilant and observant of their surroundings, and contact police should they notice any other unusual activities around the city," police said in the statement.

Canada has not experienced as much violence from extremist attacks as the United States and Western European nations, though there have been several deadly incidents in recent years.

In January, a French-Canadian university student was charged with murder after six people were shot and killed inside a Quebec City mosque, in what the Canadian Prime Minister called “a terrorist attack.”

In August 2016, Canadian police raided an Ontario home and killed a man whom they said was a supporter of Islamic State. Police said the man, Aaron Driver, was in the final stages of preparing an attack on a Canadian city with a homemade bomb.

In 2014, Canada was stunned by two deadly attacks that police said were the work of homegrown radicals and led to tougher new anti-terrorism measures.

A gunman killed a soldier at Ottawa’s national war memorial before launching an attack on the Canadian Parliament in October 2014 while, in the same week, a man ran down two soldiers in Quebec, killing one. (Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Paul Simao and Amran Abocar)

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