One killed in Mel­bourne knife at­tack

The Irish Times - - World News -

A knife-wield­ing man stabbed three peo­ple, one fa­tally, in Mel­bourne yes­ter­day in an at­tack po­lice linked to ter­ror­ism.

The at­tack dur­ing the af­ter­noon rush hour brought the cen­tre of Aus­tralia’s sec­ond-largest city to a stand­still. Hun­dreds of peo­ple watched from be­hind bar­ri­cades as po­lice tried to ap­pre­hend the at­tacker. Of­fi­cers said the man got out of a pick-up truck, which then caught fire, and at­tacked three by­standers with a knife.

He also at­tempted to at­tack po­lice who ar­rived on the scene, be­fore be­ing shot in the chest by an of­fi­cer. He died in hos­pi­tal. One of the vic­tims also died, while the two oth­ers were ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice said the at­tacker’s ve­hi­cle con­tained sev­eral bar­be­cue gas cylin­ders. A bomb squad ren­dered them safe.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said the sus­pect, orig­i­nally from So­ma­lia, was known to po­lice and the in­ci­dent was be­ing treated as ter­ror­ism.

“From what we know of that in­di­vid­ual we are treat­ing this as a ter­ror­ism in­ci­dent,” he told re­porters, adding that the po­lice coun­tert­er­ror­ism com­mand was work­ing on the case with homi­cide de­tec­tives.

Known to po­lice

“He’s known to po­lice mainly in re­spect to rel­a­tives that he has which cer­tainly are per­sons of in­ter­est to us, and he’s some­one that ac­cord­ingly is known to both Vic­to­rian po­lice and the fed­eral in­tel­li­gence au­thor­i­ties,” he said.

The Is­lamic State group, also known as Isis, claimed the at­tack in a state­ment re­leased through its Amaq me­dia arm, but pro­vided no ev­i­dence.

It said the man was “one of Is­lamic State fighters” and had re­sponded to Isis calls for at­tacks in coun­tries that are part of the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion fight­ing the mil­i­tants in Syria and Iraq.

The at­tack oc­curred on the eve of a busy week­end, with a ma­jor horse race sched­uled for to­day and a na­tional league foot­ball match to­mor­row.

Prime min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son con­demned an “evil and cow­ardly at­tack”. – AP

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