Somali asylum seeker arrested after five injured in 'terrorist attack' in Edmonton, Canada

The man first rammed into an officer and stabbed him before running over four pedestrians during a pursuit.

A rental truck lies on its side in Edmonton, Canada, on October 1, 2017, after a high speed chase. Canadian police arrested a man early Sunday suspected of stabbing an officer and injuring four pedestrians.MICHAEL MUKAI/AFP/Getty Images

A Somali asylum-seeker has been arrested on Sunday (1 October) after attacks in Edmonton, Canada left five people injured. The 30-year-old unidentified man reportedly stabbed a police officer and injured four pedestrians in the attack on Saturday.

The officer, who was directing traffic at a Canadian Football League game, was struck by a vehicle travelling at a high speed outside Alberta's Commonwealth Stadium and then was attacked with a knife, the BBC reported.

"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," Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said.

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The suspect then jumped out of the vehicle, stabbed the officer several times before fleeing on foot. A flag belonging to the Islamic State was reportedly found inside the vehicle that struck the police officer, broadcasters CBC and CTV reported.

Just before midnight, a man driving a rented van was pulled over at a checkpoint and the man's name on documents was reportedly "very similar" to that of the suspect police were looking for.

The man then fled the scene and was chased by officers. The vehicle struck four pedestrians during the pursuit, in what authorities are calling a deliberate action.

Two of the pedestrians hit were released from hospital, while the police officer is recovering from his injuries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident a "terrorist attack" adding he was "deeply concerned and outraged" by "this senseless act of violence".

In a press conference on Sunday (1 October), authorities said the suspect was previously known to Edmonton police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Knecht said the suspect was arrested on several charges, including participation in a terrorist act and the commission of an offence for a terrorist group, CNN reported.

The man was investigated in 2015 after police received a report that he was "espousing extremist ideology," said RCMP Deputy Criminal Operations Officer Marlin Degrand.

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There was insufficient evidence to pursue terrorism charges at the time and the suspect was not found to be a threat, Degrand said. Formal charges have not yet been filed.

The arrest came on the same day that an attacker was shot dead outside a railway station in Marseille, France after he killed two women with a knife in what is a suspected terror incident.

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