Terrorist shot dead after Melbourne stabbing frenzy
A KNIFE-wielding man has stabbed three people, one fatally, in Melbourne 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 in the back.
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 said, adding that the police counter-terrorism command was working on the case with homicide detectives.
“He’s known to police mainly inrespecttorelativesthathehas which certainly are persons of interest to us, and he’s someone that accordingly is know to both Victorian police and the federal intelligence authorities,” he said.
The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a statement released through its Aamaq media arm.
The attack occurred on the eve of a busy weekend in Melbourne, with a major horse race scheduled for today. Tomorrow is also Remembrance Day, when memorial ceremonies for the First World War are held.
Mr Ashton said police were “doing security reassessments of these events in light of what’s occurred”, but there was “no ongoing threat we’re currently aware of”.
A bystander runs past a burningvehicleinMelbourne after the driver stopped it and stabbed a number of peopleand (inset) the attacker is confronted by police officers