Knife­man shot dead af­ter ter­ror at­tack in Mel­bourne’s busiest shop­ping district

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Richard Shears

IS­LAMIC State last night claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity af­ter a knife-wield­ing mi­grant stabbed a pedes­trian to death in a fren­zied at­tack in Mel­bourne.

Two other stab vic­tims were taken to hos­pi­tal, while the 31-year-old as­sailant – who had ear­lier set fire to ‘bar­be­cue-style’ gas bot­tles in his car and at­tacked po­lice – died on the op­er­at­ing ta­ble af­ter be­ing shot by of­fi­cers.

Dra­matic video im­ages showed the man lung­ing re­peat­edly at po­lice of­fi­cers with a knife as they tried to dis­arm him.

Last night po­lice were treat­ing the at­tack as ter­ror­ism and re­vealed that the knife­man was known to ASIO – the Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion, which is re­spon­si­ble for do­mes­tic se­cu­rity.

On its web­site, ter­ror group Isis said: ‘The one who ex­e­cuted the ram­ming and stab­bing op­er­a­tion in Mel­bourne… is one of the fighters of the Is­lamic State and he ex­e­cuted the op­er­a­tion in re­sponse to (a call) to tar­get the cit­i­zens of the coali­tion.’

But the group of­fered no ev­i­dence to sup­port its claim.

The killer was de­scribed as be­ing a mem­ber of the So­mali com­mu­nity in Mel­bourne, where he had ar­rived as a child in the 1990s.

It was re­vealed that one of his rel­a­tives had been ar­rested on ter­ror-re­lated charges last year.

The in­ci­dent led to Mel­bourne’s new anti-ter­ror warn­ing sirens be­ing set off for the first time.

Peo­ple on the streets dur­ing a busy Fri­day rush-hour were urged to leave.

Yes­ter­day’s ter­ror in the heart

Lunged at po­lice of­fi­cers

of Aus­tralia’s sec­ond largest city be­gan at 4.20pm when a car burst into flames af­ter it crashed in Bourke Street.

Re­spond­ing to re­ports of a car on fire, po­lice found them­selves con­fronted by the driver – dressed in a long dark tu­nic and white trousers and re­port­edly yelling ‘Al­lahu Ak­bar’ – bran­dish­ing a knife and threat­en­ing them. Amid screams from by­standers, some in the crowd urged po­lice to shoot the man, call­ing out that peo­ple had al­ready been stabbed.

One man rolled a shop­ping trol­ley into the path of the at­tacker to keep him at bay. An­other tried to fend the knife­man off with a traf­fic cone. An­other wit­ness told of see­ing a pedes­trian ly­ing on the ground ‘face down, pools of blood around him’.

Prime min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said he con­demned the ‘act of ter­ror­ism’. Vic­to­rian state pre­mier David An­drews said: ‘This is an evil and ter­ri­fy­ing thing that has hap­pened in our city.’

...be­fore threat­en­ing and at­tack­ing po­lice of­fi­cers with a knife

Ter­ror: The as­sailant, cir­cled, set fire to his car...

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